How did corn, beans and tobacco come to the Indians of the US? We used to think they came from Native Americans who brought them back from their trips across the border into Mexico. But if a recent archaeological find in Georgia proves to be a Mayan ruin, it could be that the Maya brought their agricultural products with them, and that their range northward was far more extensive than previously believed.
Archaeologists have long assumed that the Mayan culture never extended into north America. It was thought that the Southeastern mound-builder cultures were an isolated development, but if the Maya were present in Georgia prior to and during the appearance of mound builder culture, their influence might have been far stronger than previously believed. The Creeks, Alabamas, Natchez, Chitimachas and Choctaws have always claimed that they migrated from the south, but archaeologists have insisted that all Indians arrived in North America by walking across the land bridge that once stretched from Siberia. However, recent DNA evidence has proved that the tribal traditions were accurate.
Mayans may have migrated north due to war, volcanic activity in central Mexico and drought. Mysterious ruins were found in the state of Georgia almost 300 years ago. When Europeans first settled the Georgia Mountains in the early 1800s, they observed hundreds of these ruins, consisting of fort-like circular structures, walls and pyramid-shaped mounds covered in stones. Many of these were destroyed when highways were built and farms were created. Only recently has the state done anything to preserve the ones that are left.
There's even more evidence in the fact that the languages of the Creek Indians contain many Mesoamerican words. When missionaries arrived in the area in the 1820s, they discovered a Cherokee village called "Itsa-ye," which they thought meant "brass," so the village is today known as "Brasstown." But what the name really meant was "Place of the Itza (Maya)."
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