Mayan Cities in Georgia?

I checked the calendar to ensure that it’s three days before Christmas and not two weeks before income taxes are due. Only then did I read this story on It’s the real deal and perhaps we should have recognized it all along. The site described may even be the city of Yupaha that Hernando de Soto sought.

There is strong archeological and etymological evidence that Mayans not only visited but actually settled in North Georgia on and around Brasstown Bald. There are many visible stone masonry walls that were likely used for agricultural terracing. So perhaps the Mayans did not all die en masse as accepted theories state, but some may have migrated to the Southeastern United States.

If not for an honest misunderstanding, this all might have been known decades ago. It seems that “Brasstown Bald” is a mistranslation of the original name, Itsay. Settlers later added “town” and “bald” to the name, but Protestant missionaries mistakenly believed the word Itsay meant brass. It actually means Place of the Itza or as we would say, Place of the Maya.

Aerial view of Brasstown Bald
Aerial view of Brasstown Bald - Image via Wikipedia

The Creek language contained many Mesoamerican words and the Hitchiti Creeks called themselves Itsate. It’s also of interest that the ancestors of the Creeks, like the Maya, built five sided mounds and that the pottery found at Ocmulgee Mounds National Monument in Macon is “virtually identical” to the Maya Plain Red pottery.

After suffering from natural disasters and wars and famine, it appears that some Mayans chose to settle in North Georgia as a safe refuge. So, a little before next December 21st – the day the Mayan calendar ends – I might just make a trip up to Blairsville. Not that I think the world is coming to an end, but for the . . . uh . . . scenery.

This discovery may help combine and answer existing questions about structures at Fort Mountain State Park, pottery at the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds and the existence of mound structures throughout the state. This lays to rest my beliefs that the mighty Lumbee Indians were responsible for all of these things.

As an aside, this does not alter my position on illegal immigration. I highly recommend the entire, lengthy, entertaining yet educational story.

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  1. Doug Deal says:

    At Georgia Tech, dinning serives used to have something called “Itza pizza”. Besides the fact that it answered the obvious question “What is this nasty crap?”, it must have also been descended from the same word, but the connection was lost to antiquity.

  2. saltycracker says:

    Mississsippian mound builders have been all over the place since a few thousand BC.
    The Mayans did not die en masse, they are still all over central America and more recently, (avoiding the illegal business) all over Georgia – their civilization crashed.
    The Spanish influence & diseases wiped out all the Fla. indigenous tribes & a lot of others.
    As Grift said the professor now at FSU said no evidence of Georgia Mayans exists.
    Back to the DNA tests……

  3. mountainpass says:

    As a child my father’s hobby was arrowhead hunting. Following heavy rains, I spent many Sunday’s walking vast clearcuts(pulpwood land, and most times it was developing land in the north metro…..all with consent) searching for pottery shards, and weapon points. It was amazing at the volume of artifacts we(mostly he) found. He found a really nice arrowhead on his July birthday while digging up a potato in the garden at our Alpharetta home. It really showed me the Indian history of my area and my own backyard. I now live in the mountains, and have seen the fish weirs in the rivers here during the drought times. I don’t know where these folks came from, but they were everywhere, and quite smart. They even had rocks they carved into games, I don’t know how to play them, but it’s obvious that was the intent.

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