Ancient Mayan Pottery Unearthed in Georgia

. March 18, 2012 . 0 Comments

A researcher at has announced the discovery of Mayan glyphs, the symbols used to write the Mayan language, on 2,000 year old pottery unearthed throughout the state of Georgia. The pottery known as Swift Creek Complicated Stamped was a highly decorated type of pottery produced in Georgia starting around 100 A.D. and continued for several hundred years. Scholars have always noted the symbols were similar to designs from Mexico though this was always dismissed as coincidence. By comparing the designs on Swift Creek pottery with glyphs in a Mayan glyph dictionary, the latest research proves that these designs are indeed Mayan glyphs. This discovery threatens to overturn the past fifty years of research into the origins of Native American societies in the Southeastern U.S. and presents a much more complicated view of the interconnections between societies in ancient America.

The research began when researcher Gary Daniels of discovered several words of Mayan origin in the Hitchiti language spoken by the Hitchiti-Creek Indians who once lived over most of Georgia. Their modern descendants are the Seminole and Miccosukee of Florida and Oklahoma. Daniels noted that the Swift Creek pottery tradition was also distributed in the same areas where the Hitchiti Creek once lived thus it was likely produced by this tribe. If their language had Mayan words in it, he reasoned, then the designs on their pottery might contain Mayan glyphs.

Daniels decided to compare the Swift Creek designs with glyphs in a Mayan glyph dictionary. Within moments he had made his first discovery. The Mayan word ek means “star” and/or “Venus” and the glyph for this word looked like a lower case W with two circles inside the W. An identical design was found on Swift Creek pottery. Yet the Swift Creek pottery had additional symbolism. Its two circles were actually circumpuncts or circled dots which in their culture was used to represent stars. “We don’t know what any of the Swift Creek designs actually mean,” Daniels admitted, “but one can make a logical deduction that since it contains two star symbols it likely has a stellar interpretation just liked the similar Mayan glyph.” Daniels noted that Venus is the only “star” with a dual nature being known as both the Morning and Evening star thus the inclusion of two star symbols in this design likely was meant to represent Venus just as the Mayan glyph does.

Daniels also learned that the Maya had several other glyphs that represented Venus. One was diamond-shaped and another was cross-shaped. Sometimes these symbols were used independently and other times together within a single glyph. Daniels found a Swift Creek design which also included a diamond-shaped design and cross-shaped design within a single cartouche. “Once again,” Daniels noted, “we don’t know the meaning of this Swift Creek design but we can deduce that the Hitchiti felt these symbols were closely associated or identical in meaning otherwise why include them together within the same design?” The fact that two cultures, the Maya and the Hitchiti, both viewed these same two geometric symbols as closely related is strong evidence that these two cultures were related.

Perhaps the most intriguing Swift Creek design that Daniels uncovered appeared to represent a jaguar with a cleft head. It also featured a flint knife symbol in the center of the design. Yet when the design was rotated 180 degrees it took on the appearance of a rattlesnake head complete with forked tongue. Daniels noted that this design likely represents the Mesoamerican legend wherein the jaguar god Tezcatlipoca battled the plumed rattlesnake god Quetzalcoatl. The battle resulted in a rain of stone axe heads which struck Tezcatlipoca transforming him into a jaguar and causing the cleft in his head. Tezcatlipoca was also strongly associated with flint knives. Thus every element of this Mesoamerican legend, a rattlesnake, a jaguar, and a flint knife, is represented in the Swift Creek design. “The odds of this being the result of coincidence is highly unlikely,” Daniels said.

Daniels also noted that the largest cache of Swift Creek pottery was found at the Kolomoki Mounds site in southwest Georgia. This site featured an enormous earthen pyramid over six stories tall with a base larger than a football field. The pyramid was stuccoed with bright red and white Georgia clays. This stucco was so well applied and so thick that archaeologists joked it would take an earthquake and dynamite to ever break through it. Daniels noted that this pyramid still stands today proving this was a structure of sophisticated engineering. “If this was built by simple hunter-gatherers, which is who mainstream scholars say constructed this pyramid, then how did they develop the engineering skills to do it?”

Daniels’ discoveries raises many new questions about the origin and nature of Native American civilization in the southeastern United States. The picture that is emerging is one in which the ancient civilizations of the Americas were much more interconnected than modern scholars presently believe. But only further research will reveal the true nature of these connections.

The full research report can be read here:

Category: Antiquities

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