The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

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The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:17 pm

When winter comes to Illinois, my mind wanders south:

This looks interesting:
http://www.leecountycourier.net/article ... 893914.txt

For those of you who missed me, I'll be adding a few notes on this topic shortly.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:22 pm

E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:05 pm

http://blog.al.com/birmingham-news-stor ... te_of.html

This report appears to have been somewhat premature.

They were looking around the site where the Spanish halbard had been found, mentioned in the link given above.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:12 pm

http://www.annistonstar.com/opinion/art ... f887a.html

Money has come along.

I think that most of these people have never given any thought to the number of autopsies and proper burials which will have to be done once the battle site is located. Nor to its protection after public announcement of the find.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:16 pm

W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi

Chapter V: Indians


Mounds

About two miles south of West Point there are two mounds standing in a line north and south, about 140 yards from each other. The tradition of both the Chickasaws and Choctaws state that in years long past a great battle was fought between a company of Chickasaw and Choctaw warriors on the place where the two mounds stand. After the battle both parties agreed to bury their dead, without molestation. A large whole was excavated by each group, the dead warriors buried, and two mounds were erected. The Chickasaws' dead occupied the northern part and the Choctaws the southern.

Archaeologists believe that the bodies were placed on scaffolds until their flesh was dried; they were then taken down and placed in a house. Here the bone scrapers removed the remaining flesh with their long finger nails. Sometimes these bones were placed in piles and cremated, or were buried in mounds made over the ash pits in which they had been cremated.

The mounds in Pontotoc County are principally located on the first ridge adjoining the lowlands. There have been unearthed from these specimens of broken pottery, stone and shell articles, animal bones, gunflints, copper heads, and nose rings.

On the second ridge there are a few mounds which contained some pieces shaped from deer antlers which have become fossilized, ear rings, beads, sherds, bones, gunflints, metal, broken potter, and thick glass. (1)

The CHENEY MOUND, located three-fourths of a mile east of the old county home, one mile north of the Natchez Trace group, is owned by W. M. Cheney. The approximate area of the site is one-sixteenth of an acre. Surface material found by survey was: sherds, beads, bones.

The CLARK MOUND, located two miles from Miller Creek channel, about one mile northwest of the Natchez Trace group, on an old Indian village and graveyard site, has an approximate area of three acres. It is owned by Mrs. Frank Clark, Pontotoc.

BRIDGES MOUND, located three hundred yards north-east of Miller Creek near an old Indian village site, covers an area of about three acres. It is owned by Jim Clayton, Route 3, Pontotoc. Surface material found by survey was: sherds, objects, shells, bones, gunflint, metal, etc., which are on display in the Pontotoc Museum.

HARDIN MOUNDS with an approximate area of one acre, are located one and one-fourth miles from Miller Creek channel on the property of Jim Inzer, Pontotoc.

RUSSELL MOUND, located two and one-half miles north west of the Longview Church Mound, near a small creek, is thirty feet in diameter and is owned by Porter H. Russell.

PHOTOGRAPH: Boulder Erected By John Foster Chapter D. A. R.

Commemorating the battle between Pierre D'Artaguette, French commander and Chickasaw Indians, May 20, 1736.

LONGVIEW CHURCH MOUND consists of one-sixteenth of an acre and is located near Longview Church, three hundred yards north of Mubby Creek channel, on the property of Mrs. Charlie Pounds.

COOPER MOUND located three miles east of Pontotoc, on the property of Zed McVay has an approximate area of an eighth of an acre. Surface material found by survey was: sherds, stone objects.

The INGOMAR GROUP was excavated by Edward Fukes of Smithsonian Institute, and several objects of the historic period were taken from them. THE SHILOH MOUND in Chickasaw County, with the result we have mentioned, indicates a more primitive origin." (2)

(1) Rev. Joseph Bullen's Journal, 1799

(2) Jim Watts, Pontotoc, Miss., who assisted state archaeologist in the excavation of the above mounds.

STUART, NORTH OF THE SITE OF DESOTO'S CAMP, was named in honor of the Rev. Thomas C. Stuart, the beloved missionary to the Chickasaws.
Last edited by E.P. Grondine on Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby kbs2244 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:11 pm

I would like to see where you are taking us here.

I will take a possible exception to your accusation of “incompetence” of modern N A archeologists.
Most are well taught on the technical side of the profession.
But they soon learn the “facts of life” in the real world.

I do not think it is incompetence so much as it is the ever threatening, choking, presence of the NAGPRA
law.
Because of it’s casino based financing, it is ever present.
Even when its provisions do not apply.
You dare not challenge it’s presumptions, not just because you may lose funding for your individual project, but your funding institution may lose all it’s backing, from any source that is not immune to an all out legal, public media, and financial assault.

At this battle site, would the “enforcement” of NAGPRA prevent examination of “native” remains while allowing it of “Spanish” remains?
As absurd as that sounds, there may be legal findings that lean that way.

Please do not take this as a seeming disrespect of your relatives.
It is not meant as such.
Just an opinion that exposure of their burial, and even death in the field of battle, rights may earn more respect for them.
And enlighten us all in the process.
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Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:59 am

The last time I checked, archaeology was listed as a sub-field of anthropology.

What the hell you do with the Spanish remains found at Mavila is up to you.

Perhaps you should leave them where they are found,
build a building around them,
and have plexiglass put over their skeletons,
so visitors can enjoy looking at them in comfort.

My relatives would really enjoy that.

But that is your problem, and will not be the subject of my rant.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:42 pm

I am taking a break to post my rant:

One of the biggest wastes of money in modern archaeology which I have seen was a search for contact era Lenape village sites along the White River in Indiana.

The search team relied on surface finds, and did not use high power metal detectors.

Given that the area was a flood plain, they found nothing.

Any time you are searching for a contact era Native American site, you should use metal detectors.

IN the case at hand, there is also an area around Pontotoc Mississippi that was known as the "Spanish Camp".

Furthermore, since nearly all Native Peoples used copper for quite a while, if you manage an "Adena{", "Hopewell", or "Mississippian" site you need to sweep it with metal detectors.

Why?

While most lithic collectors are very well mannered and principled, this is not so for metal detectors users.
If you do not think they will "midnight" your site, think again.
They will search it in broad daylight if they think they can get away with it.

Given that, they only responsible thing for any manager to do is to metal detect their site before the metal detector enthusiasts plunder it.

I will have more to write on this.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:01 pm

Last years effort resulted in the identification of Guachoya with the Yazoo at Vicksburg.

Before their arrival a Chicasa, DeSoto and his army passed through Moculixa.
In English graphemes this is most likely spelled Mokulisha, in other words Im-okla-sha, modern Choctaw Imoksha, {"the people who are here".

This village site lay somewhere on the Tombigbee River, and had another pallisaded village on the same side of the river as it, within whose walls SeSoto's party built their barges for crossing that river.

Where was the separation of Cickasaw and Choctaw lands at that time?
More to come...
Last edited by E.P. Grondine on Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:54 am

kbs2244 wrote:I would like to see where you are taking us here.

I will take a possible exception to your accusation of “incompetence” of modern N A archeologists.
Most are well taught on the technical side of the profession.
But they soon learn the “facts of life” in the real world.


Where I am taking you to is Mabilla.

If I can get there, of to any other of DeSoto's way points, I believe that will be a pretty thorough demonstration of my hypothesis about the incompetency many N.A. archaeologists.
Not all of them, but more than enough, and in fact too many of them.

I also need to mention here that I have met many excellent N.A. archaeologists.
Its simply that they do useful work instead of playing the "political" games necessary to obtain positions of "power".

I have thought that in the field of N.A. archaeology, many college professors grade the common sense out of their students.
As I mentioned before, archaeology is a subfield of anthropology.


If you remember, I took you to Guachoya last year.
Last edited by E.P. Grondine on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:02 pm

Where was Mokulisha on the east bank of the Tombigbee?

Traditionally, the divindg line between the Chickasaw and the Choctaw was the Noxubee River, so my guess is somewhere south of the Noxubee River's junction with the Tombigbee River.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby kbs2244 » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:46 pm

Can we still determine the Tombigbee River original flow route?
I understand it has been canalized into a barge route.
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Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:09 am

Since either Rangel or Oviedo traanscribed pages of his field diary at this point, here are

NOTES FOR AN ATTEMPT AT A RECONSTRUCTION OF
FRAGMENTS OF THE FIELD DIARY OF RODRIGO RANGEL

INTRODUCTION

After the disaster of Hernando de Soto's Entrada into "La Florida", the first expedition into North America, the government of Spain appointed a commission both to determine both what went wrong, and to assemble the information that the army had gained about the new found lands.

A member of that commision was Gonzalo Fernandez Oviedo and Valdes. In his report Oviedo refers to himself both as "the historian" and "the Chronicler".

OVIEDO'S ACCOUNT OF HIS WORK AND SOURCES

"Let the reader not marvel how this historian proceeds so precisely through the journeys and rivers and crossings that this Adelantado and Governor Hernando de Soto and his army experienced in those northern provinces and places;

"It is because among those gentlemen who found themselves in all [of] that, there was one, named RODRIGO RANGEL, of whom mention has been made and in future will be made, who served in that army, who, wanting to understand what he saw, and how his life passed, like a wise man WROTE AT THE END OF THE DAY'S JOURNEY, AFTER HIS LABOURS, ALL THAT WHICH HAPPENED TO THEM, and also for his recreation; and also because each Christian ought to do it in order to know how to confess and bring his sins to memory, in particular those who go to war; and also because those who have labored and passed through such excessive hardships, enjoy afterward, as eyewitnesses, communicating and sharing it with their friends, and in order to explain their own role, as they should.

"After all those things already described and those that follow had happened, this Rodrigo Rangel came to this city of Santo Domingo of the island Espanola and gave a relation of all [of] these things in the Audiencia Real to the very reverend SENOR LICENCIADO ALONSO LOPEZ DE CERRATO, who presides in it, and he [Senor Licenciado Alonso Lopez de Cerrato] COMMANDED AND CHARGED THAT HE [RODRIGO RANGEL] SHOULD TELL IN WRITING AND GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF ALL [OF IT] TO ME [Oviedo], so that, as the Chronicler for Their Majesties of these histories of the Indies, this northern conquest and discovery might be compiled and made known, [and] placed among their number, since so many novelties and unusual subjects come together for the delight of the prudent reader, and as a warning for many who come to lose [their lives] in these Indies, following after a Governor who dispensed thus others [peoples's] lives, as is apparent through these my studies and writings."

In short, as the King and Queen's Chronicler, Oviedo had access to Rangel's Field Diary, Rangel' Relation to Senor Licenciado Alonso Lopez de Cerrato, a writing that Lopez oredered Rangel to make for Oviedo which most likely was an expansion his Field-Diary along with notes, and interviews with Rangel himself.

RANGEL'S FIELD DIARY

Rangel's Field-Diary was almost certainly very small, very concise, used a minimum of ink and paper, and was carried by Rangel on his person in a protective and water-proof container of some sort. Even DeSoto's name or title probably would usually have been abbreviated to a letter; here "G" for "Governor" is used, but it may have been "A" for "Adelanto". The same holds for other individuals' names or titles - they would have become 1 single letter or perhaps 3. In the following reconstruction, the expansion of abbreviations for legibility and deletions made are both indicated by brackets. My insertions for legibility are also enclosed in brackets.

It was also likely that the Field Diary was written using immediate tenses, but the past tense has sometimes been used here for clarity.

In the following reconstruction, Oviedo's interview material is indicated by parenthesis and the use of "OvI:". These will be left in-line, except for a few key passages. Some of Oviedo's sermons are omitted entirely, but one assembled whole.

While Oviedo's work was done around 1549, it was not published; indeed, my guess is that it was never even finished. In the following reconstruction, the Printer's insertions or the insertions done for the Printer are marked "P:".

This lack of publication may have been due to actions taken by Rangel himself. Oviedo showed the Expedition's members to be obsessed, savage, greedy, and sexually driven. It is not known if the publlication was abandoned or suppressed, perhaps by Rangel himself.

In the late 1840's parts of the Printer's manuscript were discovered by historians and it finally was published in 1851. The translation by John E. Worth of the 1851 printing of the Printer's Manuscript has been used for this attempted reconstruction.

THE FIRST MAP OF SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA

Oviedo also provides us with some information on the creation of the first and terribly inaccurate Spanish maps of North America. Another member of the Spanish commission was cosmographer Alonso de Chaves, and he apparently relied on Rangel's opinions in creating his maps.

But it appears that no one in the expedition ever even used a compass, or if they did we have no notes from them. Not only did the Spaniards not know where they were, they also confused and did not determine where they were going. With the non-publication of Oviedo's version of Rangel's account, these maps could not be corrected, but once again, Rangel made no notes on his daily direction of travel.

"There we crossed, in water up to our shins, a river by which we afterward left in the brigantines that they made. When that river comes forth to the sea [the Gulf of Mexico], the navigation chart states and indicates that it is the river of Spiritu Sancto; which, according to the charts of the cosmographer Alonso de Chaves, enters in a great bay [the Gulf of Mexico], and the mouth of this river, in the salt water, is at thirty-one degrees on this side of the equator."

RANGEL'S CO-OPERATION WITH OVIEDO

Despite his claims, Oviedo makes it clear that Rangel's co-operation with him was not entirely complete.

"Which is not mentioned in this Relation. I could not get the Rodrigo Rangel to finish the story, for various reasons."

"What happened to this equestrian messenger [Rangel] this day he refused to say, because whatever he said would be in his own interest; but it suffices to say that his intention as a valiant man was well tested,..."

Perhaps Oviedo also makes greater claims of access than he truly had. He may have used an expansion Rangel made of his field diary for the ROYAL COSMOGRAPHER (MAP MAKER) ALONSO DE CHAVES, instead of transcribing an oral expansion:

"There we crossed, in water up to our shins, a river by which we afterward left in the brigantines that they made. When that river comes forth to the sea [the Gulf of Mexico], the navigation chart states and indicates that it is the river of Spiritu Sancto; which, according to the charts of the cosmographer Alonso de Chaves, enters in a great bay [the Gulf of Mexico], and the mouth of this river, in the salt water, is at thirty-one degrees on this side of the equator."

Oviedo gives summaries of the events within the winter camps at Apalachee and Chicasa, which would have been of no use to a map maker, while Rangel's field travels were, PERHAPS OVIEDO ONLY HAD ACCESS TO THE EXPANSION OF HIS FIELD DIARY THAT RANGEL HAD MADE FOR THE ROYAL MAP MAKER ALONSO DE CHAVES.

ONE OVIEDO INTERVIEW WITH RANGEL

"And so that you know, reader, what life those Spaniards led, Rodrigo Rangel, as an eyewitness, says that among many other needs of men that were experienced in this enterprise, he saw a nobleman named Don Antonio Osorio, brother of the Lord Marquis of Astorga, with a doublet of blankets of that land, torn on the sides, his flesh exposed, without a hat, bare-headed, bare-footed, without hose or shoes, a shield at his back, a sword without a scabbard, the snows and cold very great. And being such a man, and of such illustrious lineage, made him suffer his hardship and not lament, like many others, since there was no one who might aid him, being who he was, and having had in Spain two thousand ducats of income through the Church; and the day that this gentleman saw him thus, he believed that he had not eaten a mouthful and had to look for his supper with his fingernails.

"I could not help laughing when I heard him say that nobleman had left the Church and the aforementioned income in order to go to look for this life at the sound of the words of De Soto. Because I knew [De]Soto very well, and although he was a man of worth, I did not hold that he would be able with such sweet talk or cunning to delude such persons. What did such a man wish, from an unfamiliar and unknown land? Nor did the Captain who led him know more of it than that Juan Ponce de Leon and the licenciado Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon and Panfilo de Narvaez and others more skillful than Hernando de Soto had been lost in it. And those who follow such guides, go from some necessity, since they find places where they could settle or rest, and little by little penetrate and understand and find out all about the land. But let us go on; small is the hardship of this nobleman compared to those who die, if they do not win salvation."

RANGEL'S CONFESSION TO OVIEDO

The historian asked a well-informed gentleman who found himself present with this Governor and who went with him all through that northern land, [I interviewed Rangel]

Oviedo: Why did you ask for those tamemes or burden-bearing Indians in each place that the Governor and the army arrived?

Rangel: We took them to have more slaves and servants to carry our supplies and whatever we stole [took] or they gave us. Some of them died and others fled or weakened, and thus [so] we had a need to renew our supply [of them] and take more.

Oviedo: Why did you take so many women, and these not old nor the most ugly?

Rangel: We wanted the women also in order to make use of them and for our lewdness and lust [for sex]; we baptized them so we could have sex with them, rather than to instruct them in the faith.

Oviedo: Why did you detain the Chiefs and principal Indians after they had given you what they had?

Rangel: We detained the Chiefs and principal Indians so that (the others), their subjects, would be quiet and not obstruct (our thefts) [us] and prevent what we might wish to do in their land.

Oviedo: Why did you go where you went?

Rangel: Neither the Governor nor us knew, except that his intent was to find some land so rich that it might sate his greed, and to find out about the great secrets that the Governor said that he had heard about those places, according to many reports that had been given to him.

Oviedo: Why did you never halt or settle anywhere where you went?

Rangel: Nothing else could be done until we came upon a site [place] that would satisfy us.

A SERMON BY OVIEDO

"Many times I am amazed by the gambling spirit, or tenacity or pertinacity, or perhaps I should say constancy, because it gives a better impression of the way these deceived conquistadors went on from one difficulty to another, and from another to yet a worse one, and from one danger to others and others, here losing a comrade and there three and over there more, and going from bad to worse, without learning their lesson.

"Oh marvelous God, what blindness and rapture under such an uncertain greed and such vain preaching as that which Hernando de Soto was able to tell those deluded soldiers that he led to a land where he had never been and had never set foot on it, and where three other Governors, more expert than he, had been lost, which were Juan Ponce, Garay, and Panfilo de Narvaez, any one of whom had more experience than he in matters of the Indies, and they were persons of more credit than he in that; because he knew nothing either of the islands or the land of the North, knowing only the method of government of Pedrarias, in Castilla del Oro and Nicaragua, and of Peru, which was another manner of dealing with the Indians; and he thought that [experience) from there sufficed to know how to govern here on the coast of the North, and he deluded himself, as this history will relate.

"I knew well and spoke and communicated with him and the three mentioned above, and the Licenciado Ayllon, who was also lost in that land of the North.

OVIEDO SERMON CONTINUED

"Because I knew Soto very well, and although he was a man of worth, I did not hold that he would be able with such sweet talk or cunning to delude such persons. What did such a man wish, from an unfamiliar and unknown land? Nor did the Captain who led him know more of it than that Juan Ponce de Leon and the Licenciado Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon and Panfilo de Narvaez and others more skillful than Hernando de Soto who had been lost in it.

"Those who follow such guides, go from some necessity, since they find places where they could settle or rest, and little by little penetrate and understand and find out all about the land. But let us go on; small is the hardship of this nobleman compared to those who die if they do not win salvation."

OVIEDO SERMON CONTINUED

"Oh, lost people; Oh, diabolical greed; Oh, bad conscience; Oh, unfortunate soldiers; how did you not understand in how much danger you walked, and how wasted your lives and without tranquility your souls! Why did you not remember that truth that the glorious St. Augustine, deploring of the present misery of this life, says: "This life is a life of misery, decrepit and uncertain, a toilsome and unclean life, a life, my Lord, of evils, queen of the proud, filled with miseries and with dread; this is not life, nor can it be called that, but rather death, since in a moment it is finished by various mutations and diverse kinds of death".

"Listen well, Catholic reader, and do not lament any less the conquered Indians than their Christian conquerors, the killers both of themselves and of those others, and attend to the incidents of this ill-governed Governor, instructed in the school of Pedrarias de Avila, in the dissipation and devastation of the Indians of Castilla de Oro, the graduate in the killing of the natives of Nicaragua, and canonized in Peru according to the Order of the Pizarros.

"And freed from all those hellish passages, and having gone to Spain loaded with gold, neither as a bachelor nor a married man could he rest, nor did he know how to, without returning to the Indies to spill human blood, not contented with that already spilled, and to depart this life in the manner that farther on will be related; and giving cause for so many sinners, deceived by his vain words, to be lost with him.

"See how much more he wanted than what that Queen or Chief of Cofitachequi, the Lady of Talimeco, offered him, where she told him that in that place of hers he would find so many pearls that all the horses of his army would not be able to carry them; and receiving him with such humanity, see how he treated her. Let us go on, and do not forget this truth that you have read, how in proof of how many pearls she offered him, this Governor and his people now carried eight or nine arrobas of pearls, and you will see what enjoyment they got of them in what follows."
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:16 am

kbs2244 wrote:Can we still determine the Tombigbee River original flow route?
I understand it has been canalized into a barge route.


We have C. B. Moore's survey along the Tombigbee, but sadly it is not of much use.
Sorry I can not find the free pdf for it and give you the link.

I am not working on my home PC.
Last edited by E.P. Grondine on Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: The Search for Mabila, Winter 2014

Postby E.P. Grondine » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:19 am

The immediate problem is determining the location of the capital city of the Apfallya.

They were undoubtedly the ancestors of the Fallya division of the Choctaw people.
Given that, the place to look would be in Judge Linecum's manuscript of the traditional history of the Choctaw,
the original copy of which is in Austin, Texas.

I do not have the resources to go there and do it.
E.P. Grondine
 

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