12,000 years of cultural life along the Pacolet River Valley

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2016

On Thursday, June 30 at 6 p.m. Frank Lee, gifted amateur archaeologist, will discuss the pre-history of the Pacolet Valley at the Tryon Historical Museum. Long before the Cherokee chose this verdant area as one of their preferred hunting grounds, humans lived in, hunted, and gathered along the Pacolet River.

The Cherokee themselves were immigrants to this area. Although there is some debate among scholars about their origins, there is no question that the Cherokee language is rooted in Iroquoian.

Unlike most other Indians in the American Southeast at the start of the historic era, the Cherokee spoke an Iroquoian language, an indication of migration from another area. Since the Great Lakes region was the core of Iroquoian-language speakers, scholars have theorized that the Cherokee migrated south from that region, a view supported by the Cherokee oral history tradition.

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Early humans and, later, the Cherokee came to this area for the same reasons that early European settlers and, eventually, travelers came here: beauty, bounty, water resources and a relatively mild year round climate.

But the question is: when did the Cherokee come here and who, if anyone was here before them. That and many other questions will be addressed in Lee’s fascinating talk. Join us to find the answers to many questions about human habitation along the Pacolet. Light refreshments will be served.

– article submitted
by Happy McLeod