Late Archaic Inhabitation in a Georgia Coastal Barrier Island

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posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 08:28 PM
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Relevant ATS posts:
www.abovetopsecret.com... (Based on Lostworlds.org article)
www.abovetopsecret.com... (Regional discussion of Altamaha R. and surrounding area)
www.abovetopsecret.com... (Use in alleged President Carter double)

Mods, if this is too similar to the first post then please remove; I however feel it is more detailed than previous offerings and has content to self-sustain its own threading.

Lostworlds if you take any offense to a quote please let me know so I can make corrections.


Abstract


The Georgia coastal barrier islands are rich in both Archeological and Anthropological history. Beginning in the Late Archaic Period hunter-gathers began building, perhaps inadvertently, giant circular complexes of shell rings. These shell rings give insight into the practices, advancements, diets, and fauna of the period. Radiocarbon dating confirms that this community of hunter-gatherers pre-dates many of the advancements made by Egyptian’s in the period while faunal data suggests a possible inhabitation by sedentary Paleo-Indians during this time.

Main Body


In 1872, archeologist William McKinley of Milledgeville, Georgia wrote of his discovery of 9MC23: Sapelo Island Shell Ring Complex of McIntosh County, GA to the Smithsonian Institute. (Thompson, Reynolds, et al) The ring complex consists of a large ring and two smaller rings, the largest is radiocarbon dated to the Late Archaic Period (Coastal Shell Rings) 4010 +/-350 (Southeast Archeological Center, Compton), making it older than some of Egypt’s pyramids. As per the Sapelo Island Visitor’s center the site is not considered a National Historic Landmark; however the National Parks Service does state it is eligible for the distinction in their dissertation Archaic Shell Rings of the Southeast U.S. (pg. 114)

The inhabitants of the shell ring complex were complex hunter-gatherers (Coastal Shell Rings) suspected to be the Timucua Indians who feasted on fish, crab, mollusks, alligator, white tail deer, and small game animals (Daniels, Compton). Other sources indicate the possibility of sedentary inhabitants citing the coastal region to be conducive to the behavior as well as nearby sedentary populations in Florida (Compton, pg. 20) According to Daniels’ theory of formation the rings began as a trash heap outside of the huts by which the 35-120 inhabitants lived. Other theories suggest that the rings were built only during the parts of the year when ceremonies would be conducted. (Compton) Due to the scarcity of human remains the population of the community is difficult to determine, estimates are based on the size of the rings and dating of the sub- and top layer of shells. Over time the base ring was formed and provided a protective wall. Citing research from Victor Thompson, Daniels has come to this conclusion based on findings that the ring was formed from evenly spaced trash pits which had become overfilled. These Indians controlled much of Southeastern Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Further support for a Timucua inhabitation is drawn from historical drawings of known Timucua living in circular fortified communities. Faunal evidence has determined the site was inhabited at a minimum during the Summer and Fall seasons based on fish remains recovered (Compton, pg. 21)The site would also become inhabited by other civilizations, be visited by Spanish and French Explorers (Daniels, Southeast Archeological Center, Thompson, Reynolds et al) as well as become one of the last remaining settlements of freed slaves, the Gullah, in the nearby isolated community of Hog Hammock where they keep many of their unique coastal isolationist slave traditions and language alive today.

The large ring site is formed by layers of primarily oyster shells, but also contains earthen pottery wares (archaic and baked), one white tail deer antler, a few human bones and teeth. (Southeast Archeological Center, pg 13, pg 37, pg 88) This shell ring is one of the largest of its kind, at over 250 feet in diameter and 20 feet tall, it is located on the North end of the Island on the western portion near the Mud River (Daniels, Compton pg. 8). Despite the ring’s large size it is not viewable from any satellite imagery available at this time. Two other rings are present below the subsurface and their existence has come under debate by the Archeologists who have documented the site. (Thompson, Reynolds, et al) Shell Rings II and III have been damaged from borrowing for road construction and plant fill. (Compton, pg. 8) The complex is officially known to be composed of three rings, with only one being eligible as a National Historic Landmark. The two lesser rings took nearly a century to be confirmed as they are present largely under the subsurface and had been greatly debated until modern advances in geophysics were able to verify their purposeful construction. (Southeast Archeological Center, pg 114) The large ring’s center was constructed as a trash heap and grew to become a community center for celebrations by their inhabitants. The complex is designated as an Indian Mound; however it is not a burial site. (Daniels)
edit on 2012226 by mretgis because: (no reason given)
edit on 2012226 by mretgis because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 08:33 PM
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The site was first discovered in 1872, but more thorough documentation was completed in 1893 by Moore who abandoned the project over disinterest in the lack of significant findings other than fragmented earthen wares. (Southeast Archeological Center, pg 88) The presence of baked clay as well as pottery indicates that the inhabitants lived there during the transition from indirect to direct cooking practices took place. (Southeast Archeological Center, pg 35) This finding is further supported in the calcination of bones discovered in Shell Ring III (Compton, pg. 13) Very few shell formed tools have been discovered at the complex, but this is normal for Georgian coastal archaic civilizations which typically have 1/10th that of similar civilizations found in Florida. (Southeast Archeological Center, pg. 40)

Despite Sapelo Island’s Shell Ring Complex’s lack of NHL status the site remains and wealth of learning for those wishing to understand the people of the Late Archaic Period as well as being to interest to those in the history of Georgia’s coastal barrier islands. Sapelo has proved itself a venerable host to a wide range of people and despite its small size the island has sustained humans for thousands of years.

Reference
Thompson, Reynolds, et al. (2004). The Sapelo Shell Ring Complex: Shallow Geophysics on a Georgia Sea Island, Southeastern Archaeology: Vol 23, No 2, p. 192, Allen Press, www.jstor.org...

(2005) Coastal Shell Rings, The New Georgia Encyclopedia, www.georgiaencyclopedia.org...

Southeast Archeological Center (2004), Archaic Shell Rings of the Southeast U.S., Tallahassee: United States Department of the Interior, PDF

Daniels, Gary C. (2011) Sapelo Shell Rings (2170 BC), Also an ATS member's site, Lostworlds.org

Compton, Mathew J. (2004) Faunal Analysis From The Sapelo Shell Ring Complex (9MC23), Athens: Zooarchaeology Laboratory, Georgia Museum of Natural History, PDF

cougars!
edit on 2012226 by mretgis because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 10:40 AM
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Hello and thanks for the references provided with your info....

My family is from this area, and i do not live far from it now....My own Native American roots, through oral history, claim that we (the Creek Indians) have been in Georgia for around 12,000 years. The creek were made up of many different tribes. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if these coastal civilizations assimilated into the mainland tribes thousands of years ago. This , along with oceanic burial practices, would help explain the absence of burial sites.

While modern archeology dosn't agree with this oral history, i feel its only a matter of time before archeology confirms these oral histories.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 12:15 PM
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What my understanding of the Creek is that they had formed after a breakdown of early sedentary Indian civilizations. They controlled most of S. GA from the coast well into Alabama and their civilization remained very strong until interaction with the English settlers. If the Creek originated in 12,000 they would have been more toward Columbus than Savannah, I believe the ocean was further inland during that time. The Paleo-Indians would have had a long journey made quickly to be this far Southeast at 12,000. But I could easily see 10,000 +/- 500 for the early groups. Now the smoking gun would be if you had any Clovis points passed down your family!



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 12:27 PM
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The problem with Indian Tribes on both coasts.

The were highly mobile. They left very few ruins.

They followed the food and had very little use for a large village.



posted on Feb, 27 2012 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by mretgis
What my understanding of the Creek is that they had formed after a breakdown of early sedentary Indian civilizations. They controlled most of S. GA from the coast well into Alabama and their civilization remained very strong until interaction with the English settlers. If the Creek originated in 12,000 they would have been more toward Columbus than Savannah, I believe the ocean was further inland during that time. The Paleo-Indians would have had a long journey made quickly to be this far Southeast at 12,000. But I could easily see 10,000 +/- 500 for the early groups. Now the smoking gun would be if you had any Clovis points passed down your family!


When i say the Creek Indians were here 12,000 years ago, i'm not neccessarily referring to the Creek Nation, but more the groups that came to make up that nation a few thousand years later....

In my own tribe, Lower Muskogee, or the Ocmulgee Creek, there is no record of when the Creek became an official tribe....Not to say that there isn't record, just not within the tribe through oral tradition....Any record of when the Creek Nation formed from other groups is provided by modern archeology, which proves itself wrong and right again on a daily basis....

Usually with Creek tribes throughout this area, if they refer to 'their people', they're referring to any group of early native American civilizations from the area....You'll find that Creek tradition (beliefs and practices) really didn't originate with the Creek Nation, but within the smaller groups long before the nation was formed....Where the Creek Nation sets itself apart from earlier Creek settlements is government, and agriculture....Anything else was passed down or taken along from the smaller groups...

One of the big hurdles for archeologists and historians is the fact that Creek history differs between the Federally Recognized Creek Nation of Oklahoma, and the Creek that decided to stay....I fear this is the same for almost every Native tribe that has been roped onto reservations....

I lean towards the history and traditions provided by those who were not forced out....The Florida Seminole is a great example of a tribe that refused to assimilate or be exiled...The same is true with the Ocmulgee Creek...Some fled, or walked a trail of tears to Oklahoma, losing much of their oral history....Others decided to fight, hide, and build new communities while keeping their oral tradition and history, but in turn losing any sort of recognition from the federal government....My tribe is of this group of bandits...And through our oral history, we have been here for somewhere around 12,000 years....

No proof, no paperwork....Just oral history....

My great grandfather, an Ocmulgee Creek, used to say that we have always been....

As far as Clovis points go, i have many....Some handed down, and some found here in the area.....The Ocmulgee (Bubbling Waters) River is a treasure trove of early Native American tools and pottery....



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 07:53 AM
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Definitely the bloodline goes back that far, just under different names like you say. I have so much respect for Indian's way of passing down oral histories. It is just something that doesn't occur much elsewhere. Alot of people think that when the settlers came Indians were in small little tribes sparsely scattered about and loosely confederated, sad what media has done to the public stereotype of the people that were here. I wouldn't go for the histories out of OK much either, I'm fairly sure alot of that history has been tampered with.



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by whyamIhere
The problem with Indian Tribes on both coasts.
The were highly mobile. They left very few ruins.
They followed the food and had very little use for a large village.

Truth is they were only mobile if they needed to be. If they followed a caribou herd, lived off the land and had to conduct seasonal rounds in order to make a living then yes...they were highly mobile.

If they had their resources near at hand, and the weather was kind...why travel? Look at Canadian west coast people like the Haida...moderate climate, lots of food, large villages and complex society.



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by whyamIhere
The problem with Indian Tribes on both coasts.
The were highly mobile. They left very few ruins.
They followed the food and had very little use for a large village.

Truth is they were only mobile if they needed to be. If they followed a caribou herd, lived off the land and had to conduct seasonal rounds in order to make a living then yes...they were highly mobile.

If they had their resources near at hand, and the weather was kind...why travel? Look at Canadian west coast people like the Haida...moderate climate, lots of food, large villages and complex society.



The further north you go up the west coast the more ruins.

In the south they built missions. (basically as slaves).

The more I study the subject...The worse it gets for the Native people.



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by whyamIhere
In the south they built missions. (basically as slaves).

Just as a matter of context, the missions were built during the historical period while the shell rings in question are some 4000 years old.



posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 01:01 AM
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I found this thread by doing a seach online about the Sapello Shell Ring Complex.

Anyway, there is one part that is rather strange which the op exceprted.


The large ring site is formed by layers of primarily oyster shells, but also contains earthen pottery wares (archaic and baked), one white tail deer antler, a few human bones and teeth. (Southeast Archeological Center, pg 13, pg 37, pg 88) This shell ring is one of the largest of its kind, at over 250 feet in diameter and 20 feet tall, it is located on the North end of the Island on the western portion near the Mud River (Daniels, Compton pg. 8). Despite the ring’s large size it is not viewable from any satellite imagery available at this time.


The shell rings were supposedly built from the rests of animals, and other sources of food eaten by the people inhabiting these dwellings.

Now, why would there be human bones and teeth in the rings? These walls were supposedly built from the leftovers of whatever food the inhabitants of these dwelling could find.

Was there perhaps some time when they had to resort to cannibalism? But then again, even if they had to do this because food was scarce why would they discard human bones and teeth where they discarded the leftovers of their food?

Wouldn't the inhabitants of these dwellings bury the bones and teeth of other fellow humans? But no, instead these human bones and teeth were discarded like the rest of other animals leftovers which were the food source of these people.

Now, another thing that is interesting is the height that these rings in Sapello have/had, 20 feet tall and 250 feet in diameter.

Below is a representation of the Sapello Shell Ring complex.



It is estimated that from 35 - 300+ people could have lived in this city, but even if we take the highest number 300+ people, it would have taken them several decades to build 20 feet tall and 250 feet in diameter rings from the leftovers of the food sources these people ate.

So we have at least two very strange facts about whoever lived in the Sapello Shell Ring complex/city. It seems that humans were part of their food source and thought of human bones and teeth just as trash, and these people ate a lot.

Now, why would the inhabitants of this city/complex build rings around their houses for what seems to be protection which would take them decades to build?

If these rings were built for protection, and that seemed to be their purpose, then why wait decades to build them? Unless it took a lot less than decades, and perhaps it was just a couple of months or so. But can 300+ people eat so much food in a couple of months, including some humans, that their bones, and shells could make three concentric ring walls 250 feet in diameter and 20 feet tall? I really doubt that.

There are tales among Native American tribes, and other cultures around the world that there were giants a long time ago on Earth, and some of the tales narrate that these giants would also eat some humans . Could this complex/city in Sapello have been the dewlling of some giants?

There are many stories among the Native Americans about red, or yellow haired giants. For example, the Paiute of Nevada have stories of such red haired giants which they called the "Si-Te-Cah".

The "Si-Te-Cah" were according to the Paiute giants who were hostile and even resorted to cannibalism, eating on occasion some Paiute people, and according to their legends many Native American tribes united to defeat tribes like the "Si-Te-Cah", and in one instance the Native American Tribes were able to corner the survivors of the "Si-Te-Cah" in Nevada, the "Si-Te-Cah" put brushes in the cave entrance and the native tribes fired arrows on fire when the "Si-Te-Cah" would not come out of the cave. Some of the red haired giants tried to escape but were killed by the arrows of the native tribes, and the rest died of asphyxiation.

Is it possible that the inhabitants of the Sapello ring Shell Complex in Georgia were also another tribe of red haired giants?

Watch the following videos, they have some interesting information about this topic.





edit on 8-3-2012 by ElectricUniverse because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 08:06 AM
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Originally posted by ElectricUniverse

The large ring site is formed by layers of primarily oyster shells, but also contains earthen pottery wares (archaic and baked), one white tail deer antler, a few human bones and teeth. (Southeast Archeological Center, pg 13, pg 37, pg 88)

The shell rings were supposedly built from the rests of animals, and other sources of food eaten by the people inhabiting these dwellings.
Now, why would there be human bones and teeth in the rings? These walls were supposedly built from the leftovers of whatever food the inhabitants of these dwelling could find.

Could you save me a bunch of searching and send me the above reference? The one study I saw states that the occupation of the site was seasonal. As to human remains, couple of factors come into play. If the bones were cooked, that will show up. If they were butchered or flensed, so will that. In that kind of environment, you wouldn't be chowing down on the next guy out of hunger, so if cannibalism was practiced, it would be of a ceremonial nature.

I'd like to see a list of the bones recovered, because that would be relevant. I'm not aware of what their mortuary practices were, but up here you see circumstances where the dead were buried in a primary burial, and then every so ofter the remains were dug up and reburied in a mass grave, an ossuary...accompanied by ceremony. Sometimes bits get left behind. So...if they were longbones and skulls and such found on the site, then that is likely not the case. A citation would help to answer your questions.



posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Just to add to JohnnyC's concise remarks. In some cases criminals or enemy bodies were thrown in the trash too



posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 10:08 AM
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Just wanted to add that some forms of ancestor worship involve exhuming the body of your ancestor, removing the skull, reburying the body and displaying the skull as a shrine.

Could be a reason for human remains being found.

Harte



posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by ElectricUniverse
Now, why would there be human bones and teeth in the rings?

Well, silly me. I went back to the citations offered by the OP and answered our question.

The two human remains from Sapelo, a temporal bone fragment and a deciduous tooth, are from contexts not clearly identified (Moore 1897). And their assignation to the Late Archaic is problematic because non-Archaic materials have been recovered from both Sapelo Ring 1 and Sapelo Ring 2. www.nps.gov...

So, the site yielded two specimens...one a temporal bone fragment found in the plaza...and a quick Google offered up the following:

Temporal bone trauma usually is the sequela of blunt head injury emedicine.medscape.com...
...and a deciduous tooth - baby tooth, found in one of the rings.

That leaves us with some possibility of violence in the one case, but no definitive association with either graves or cannibalism. An interesting exercise, just the same.





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