Ruins of Possible Maya Settlement Uncovered in North Georgia

North GeorgiaIn what a December 22 report in RawStory describes as possibly “the most important archeological discovery in recent times,” the ruins of a stone city believed to be at least 1,100 years old have come to light in the mountains of North Georgia. Interest in the Kenimer Mound, a large, five-sided pyramid in the foothills of Georgia’s tallest mountain, Brasstown Bald, near Blairsville in the Chattahoochee National Forest go back to a 1999 University of Georgia dig led by archeologist Mark Williams.

Photo above: Blue Rock, a scene nearby.

At least 154 stone masonry walls for agricultural terraces were exposed, plus evidence of a sophisticated irrigation system, prompting Richard Thornton to speculate that the site corresponds to Yupaha, a town explorer Hernando de Soto searched for unsuccessfully in 1540. Thornton relates the site to other Maya-like ruins in the Southeast and believes the people who build it were the Itza Maya, a word that carried over into the Cherokee language of the region.

Traditional oral histories such as those recorded by Constantine Rafinesque have always traced the origins of the Natchez and other pre-Muskoghean Native Americans in the Southeastern U.S. to Mexico. Rafinesque thus distinguishes between the Itzcans (or Aztec) and the Oguzhians (Algonquians).

The site is called Archaeological zone 9UN367 at Track Rock Gap and is a half mile (800 m) square and rises 700 feet (213 m) in elevation up a steep mountainside.

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