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Native American History of Laurens County, Georgia

Laurens County is in one of several regions of Georgia that contained advanced indigenous cultures that have received only cursory attention from the archaeology profession.  Future discoveries along the Lower Oconee River may radically change the understanding of the Southeast’s Pre-European history. Although this large county is composed of lands ceded by the Muskogee-Creek Confederacy to the United States in the late 1700s and early 1800s, true Muskogee-Creeks probably did not enter the region until the mid-to-late 18th century.  Even then, occupation was shared with other ethnic groups, who became political allies of the Muskogees in order to survive multiple threats their existence. Prior to the late 1700s, what is now the State of Georgia was a patchwork quilt of indigenous ethnic groups, speaking several languages and many dialects. The town names recorded by the de Soto Expedition in the Oconee-Ocmulgee River Basin during the spring of 1540, suggests that several languages were spoken in the region, including Itsati (Hitchiti,) Mvskoke (Muskogee) and Taino-Arawak. Toa, a town on the Oconee or Ocmulgee River, is a common Taino word, while an Arawak-speaking province of the Creek Confederacy, named Taosi (Tawasee in English) existed into the mid-1700s. Location and geography Laurens County is located in upper southeast Georgia. Its county seat is Dublin. To the northwest of Laurens is Wilkinson and Twiggs Counties. It is bounded on the northeast by Johnson and Emanuel Counties. Bleckley and Dodge Counties form its western boundary, while Wheeler County defines the southern boundary. The entire county is in Georgia’s Atlantic Coastal Plain. This region is underlain by relatively young sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.  Most of...

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