If you haven't heard this, try Googling "Mayan ruins found in Georgia". You will find copious blogs, forums and tweets, all agog at this unlikely revelation.
Reading and re-reading the original article posted on Examiner.com, I thought the evidence seemed a bit thin, to put it mildly. Things like this:
the earliest maps show the name Itsate... Itsate is what the Itza Mayas called themselvesmake little sense. Itza is a Maya language, now almost entirely extinct. A soundalike word on a map written in English is not evidence of anything. Another tidbit:
Also, among all indigenous peoples of the Americas, only the Itza Mayas and the ancestors of the Creek Indians in Georgia built five-side earthen pyramids as their principal mounds. It was commonplace for the Itza Maya to sculpt a hill into a pentagonal mound. There are dozens of such structures in Central America.I don't know if the Creek and the Maya were the only people to construct pentagonal structures. But if both of those peoples did build five-sided structures, and the Creek lived in Georgia, and pentagonal earthen structures are found in Georgia, does that then point to the Maya? (I have brown eyes. African people have brown eyes. I must be African!)
Not a single archaeological journal or website, or a single science reporter for any news organization, has reported on this, to my knowledge. But I did find this:
According to the report, picked up from a fly-by-night Web pub called the Examiner, a small group of archeologists led by University of Georgia scholar Mark Williams discovered the 1,100-year-old city “on the southeast side of Brasstown Bald in the Nacoochee Valley.” Only, the report “is not true,” according to Williams, reached by email. “I have been driven crazy by this.”To put it mildly, we need more evidence.
The original story was written by one Richard Thornton — who claims that “like most Georgia and South Carolina Creeks, I carry a trace of Maya DNA,” and that his ancestors came to North America fleeing “volcanic eruptions, wars, and drought” — and it has certainly caught fire across the Twitter/blogosphere thanks to the general obsession with the 2012 Mayan prophecies. (Even the venerable Washington Post interrupted its regularly-scheduled news rapportage to alert readers that “a second brick found at a Mayan ruin also contained the Dec. 21, 2012, date.”)
But, as Williams says, “The Maya connection to legitimate Georgia archaeology is a wild and unsubstantiated guess on the part of the Thornton fellow. No archaeologists will defend this flight of fancy.”
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