The Enigma of Fort Mountain
                             Interpreted by Tom Cox

                                      With illustrations and Photos


   Located in the Northwest Georgia Mountains above Chatsworth, the Cohutta Range
rises suddenly above the glacial scar from the last ice age. The terrain changes from 700
feet above sea level to more than 3000 feet. These mountains were pushed up by the
South-progressing glacial ice of more than 10,000 years ago.

   Photo:  Historic marker located at the beginning of the Promenade in the parking lot.

   At its highest point, with the most severe cliff overlooking the glacial valley below, and
facing the Western sunset, there exists a large ring of rocks marking the boundary of an
enigmatic rock-walled structure atop Fort Mountain. This site has been a mystery and the
object of much speculation as to its age and purpose for more than 200 years.

   However, I believe the evidence is clear that Fort Mountain was built more than three
thousand years ago by visitors from the Mediterranean & Iberia (now, Spain).

   The site is located at the highest point of the Cohutta Mountain Range, near the
Southern end of the Appalachians.  The cliff side drops nearly vertical for more than 2000
feet to the Murray County, Georgia terrain. One can see Alabama and Tennessee from

   Photo: Looking North from Fort Mountain towards the Cohutta Mountain Range

   We arrived at the paved road’s end within Fort Mountain State Park in late afternoon
June 20th, near the summer solstice event.  We try to visit high places new to us, on, or
near the solstices.  It makes it much easier for us to locate evidence that the site includes
sun and celestial markings.

   The half mile walk to the fort followed a slightly sloped path upward and was marked by
rocks and stones on either side, making a promenade.  Having an approach promenade
was practiced by nearly all European and Mediterranean cultures when building “High”
worship sites and fortresses. The path is worn down over centuries of visitors. The rocks
lining the promenade and used  in the building, were not all from the mountain. It is possible
that bringing a stone to the site was a type of offering made by pilgrims.

   Photo: The Promenade path to the “temple” (Fort Mountain) worn by centuries of
pilgrims followed later by modern visitors. Some later manmade concrete was added.

   I found stones with carvings on them.  The photo shown reads “Sun” or “Baal” in Celt-
Iberian characters (G-L). Carving the “holy word” for “Baal” may have been an effort of
worship and may have been delivered to the site as an offering.

Photo: Carved, worship offering stone with “G-L,” the word for “Baal”

   On the inside of the walls of the “Fort” are depressions beginning 6-8 feet long ending at
the base of, or inside, the rock wall.  One local explanation was that this was a “Cherokee
honeymoon” site where newly married Indian couples would come to celebrate their nuptials
in one of the “love nests.”  Another legend spoken of by the Cherokee Indians, before they
were forcibly removed from their lands in Georgia in 1838, was that the Fort was occupied
by a “Moon-eyed, light- skinned and red headed” people whose origin was not known to the
Indians and who were already living there before the Cherokee arrived hundreds of years
before. One explanation within plausible reality is the evidence of similar structures in
Alabama, Georgia (Atop Stone Mountain near Atlanta) and Tennessee built by the Welsh
Explorer Prince Medoc in the late 1100’s. There is still evidence of fortresses built and
occupied by his party in all three states and ancient diaries detailing several voyages to
this area.

   It has now become obvious that Christopher Columbus was a “late comer,” with many
other discoveries showing signs of much earlier expl0ration from earlier sea going explorers.

   Upon first arriving at the site, we noticed much of the wall had been pulled down and was
strewn outward.  It appeared that the stones, weighing up to 200 pounds, had been built
originally to a height of approximately six–to-seven feet.  There is an observation tower built
by the WPA, in the 1930’s, with rocks taken from the fort wall.  The tower was recently

   Photo: A section of the main wall with the dwelling collapsed.  Should we be able to
archaeologically excavate several of these, we would certainly find evidence of life at the
fort and who built it.

   The tower is located at the highest point of the fort.  This is unfortunate because the
removal of rock from the walls and its location at the high point destroyed some valuable
artifacts and evidence, the most important of which, lies just to the side of the tower.

   Photo: The tower was built in the 1930’s using rock from the temple and the walls. It has
been recently restored

   When we observe that modern white men have frequented ancient Southern sites, we
see that much has been lost due to the “treasure is buried under every rock” mentality of
those who took this land from the Cherokee.  This was the case at Fort Mountain, where it
was obvious that reckless excavation had taken place with no concern for protecting the
historical significance of the site.

   My conclusion is that Fort Mountain was a Baal Temple worship “High Place” and
simultaneously,  a military garrison and was located here as protection for those who came
to the area to colonize, mine gold and copper, trap fur and trade with other occupants.  
Without more sophisticated means and using other sites with which to compare, I put its
active time at approximately 500-1000 BC.

   The trenches, butted up to the walls, were living quarters, which were originally dug out,
then covered over by timbers, then rocks and soil and plants. There are many examples of
this in the South and Eastern United States.  If the reader has knowledge of how ancient
cities were constructed, you may remember that the walls around cities had dwellings built
up against the inside walls, as was the case when Jerusalem was rebuilding in
approximately 450 BC.   Nehemiah, the Prophet and Governor, in order to speed up
construction of the protective Jerusalem outer wall, then instructed families to build their
dwellings against the wall and be responsible for that section of the wall. It is interesting to
note that Fort Mountain may have been built approximately the same time in history with
similar a structural strategy.

   Photo: A section of the outer wall looking toward the promenade gate. These walls would
have been stacked six to seven feet high. Dwellings were built against the wall and faced

   Near the top and a few feet from the tower, (as discussed above) we discovered a trench
lined with large rectangular stones and approximately twenty feet long and ten feet wide,
with an opening on the end facing westward.  The trench was filled in during the WPA
construction.  We observed that the opening of the trench was lined up with the setting sun
on the longest day of the year.  This is most likely a Baal temple/solstice site, like others we
have found in the South.  Baal worship is the worship of the sun.  Baal worshippers
primarily came from the Mediterranean and Southern Europe.  The objective of the temple
facing the summer solstice is to set a mark to measure and predict the seasons and the
celebration of the sun’s positions: the summer and winter solstices and the fall and spring
equinoxes, all important to visitors to the Americas 3000 years ago.

   Above: Behind the tower are the ruins of the Baal-Sun Temple marked by the two large
stones facing toward the setting sun on, or about June 21. These stones were covered with
timber, rocks and sod. Light coming in at Sunset on the longest day of the year allowed
observers to mark all seasons and events important to the ancients

   Walking an imaginary line from the front of the Temple toward the setting sun, I walked to
the edge of the drop off. Near the edge, carved into the rock was an arrow pointing directly
toward the sun and the word “summer” in the old Lybian language.

    Above: Stone slab found on the edge of the precipice facing 277 degrees. The Arrow
(pointing toward the right in the photo,) points west and toward the Lybian word (looks like
“100”)for “summer”, indicating the solstice.

   Walking the inside circumference, we discovered what may have been be a “birthing
chair.” Giving birth at higher altitudes, where the atmospheric pressure is often less, was a
ancient way to ease the giving of birth. Birthing tables similar to this one can be found in
ancient Europe and associated with the Mediterranean cultures. This presents more
positive evidence that visitors from those cultures built the Fort Mountain Site.

  Photo: The “Birthing chair” Having a child at high altitudes made the birth quicker

   Being in this place, imagining those early builders who came from so far away, so long
ago is fascinating to imagine: the knowledge they had of the heavens; the effort they put
forth to build the site; and then, to wonder what happened to them all?  Did they fade into
the Native American population?

   The enigma still exists. The mystery still not completely solved, but the fascination with
the possibilities still lingers and excites.  There is much more to discovery at Fort Mountain.


Copyright © 2015 Thomas D. Cox, Sr. All Rights Reserved. No information, illustrations,
    photographs or any other part of this paper may be reproduced in
      any form without the expressed, written permission of the author.