The Chontal Maya or Putun Maya

A vector image of a Chontal Maya seacraft

The presence of crescent shaped temple mounds in the Florida Peninsula strongly suggests cultural contacts with Maya ethnic groups, who worshiped the goddess, Ixchel. Very few Florida archaeologists have been willing to suggest publicly that Florida, Mesoamerica and South America had direct cultural contacts. Those who did, were all ostracized by their peers. However, the linguistic and architectural evidence is overwhelming for contacts between illiterate Maya merchants and the indigenous peoples in Georgia – which is north of Florida.



Maya Cultural Traditions at the Ortona Archaeological Zone

Ortona Sceptor Pond

One of the several arguments that Southeastern archaeologists have used to dismiss a direct cultural connection between the Southeastern United States and Mesoamerica is that architecture of the respective regions was different. The architecture of the largest and most sophisticated Maya cities WAS more sophisticated and larger scaled than in towns in the Southeast, but the same architectural elements could be found in both regions. The Mesoamerican pyramids were really earthen mounds veneered with stone in some civilizations, left as clay stuccoed mounds in others.



Opechancanough and Don Luis

Jamestown was founded in 1607 on land recently conquered by the Powhatan Confederacy. Movies about Pocahontas have given the impression that the “Powhatan Indians” were concentrated on the Chesapeake Bay.  They were not. The villages on the coastline of the Chesapeake were the vassals of the Pamunkey Indians, who forged the confederacy.1 The capital of the



Mexican Native Americans

As mentioned, three major centers of advanced culture blossomed around 900 AD and quickly disappeared around 1150 AD.  They were the Toltec capital of Tula, the trade megapolis on the Ocmulgee River in central Georgia, and the cluster of towns connected by canals and raised bed roads around Lake Okeechobee.  The causes of their contemporary



Toltecs

The Toltecs are associated with a single city, about 100 miles north of Mexico City. It is known today by the Totonac word for town, Tula.  However, that was also the probable name of Teotihuacan.  The city probably had another name.  The problem is now, anthropologists are not even sure what ethnic group lived there. 



Totonac Civilization

Aerial View of El Tajin

Shortly after the abandonment of Teotihuacan, cities began developing in northern Vera Cruz. The location of Teotihuacan had become quite arid as today, while Vera Cruz benefited from have a lower altitude and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. The descendants of the builders of these cities called themselves the Totonacs and they claim to



Late Classic Maya Heartland

The populations of Maya cities and countryside exploded after the mid-Sixth century hiatus. Several cities reached over 100,000 people. According to NASA archaeologist Tom Sever, the Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica was one of the densest populations in human history. At its zenith around 800 AD, the total population was probably in the range of 22



Tabasco and Chiapas

Chontalpa

The southern end of Vera Cruz and all of Tabasco in Mexico are not significantly different in appearance than southeastern Georgia.  Most of the region is level and humid, with many swamps and natural lakes. The coast of Tabasco is lined with tidal marshes almost identical to those of the coast of Georgia.  Although most



Apocalypto

I knew so little back then. I had only the slightest grasp of my Creek Indian heritage.  I couldn’t even begin to answer Dr. Piña-Chan’s questions.  I did tell him that we had a lot of gold in the Georgia Mountains, but our archaeologists said that the Indians didn’t know anything about it.  Even then,



Mayan and Creek Similarities

Many, many suns ago, I was awarded a fellowship by Georgia Tech to spend a summer studying the indigenous architecture and town planning of Mesoamerica. The grant involved visiting all of the major archaeological sites in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. In addition, I was to photograph at least 2500 professional quality color slides for the



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