The earliest humans lived in the area that is now Georgia during the ice age, when the sea levels were more than 200 ft lower. The Atlantic seaboard was thus more than 100 miles seaward of its current location. As a result, many of the earliest settlements in that area have since been swallowed by the sea. As the water rose, the peoples who inhabited the land moved west. The Coosa chiefdom was centered in present-day Georgia, but their sphere of influence extended into Alabama and Tennessee. Closer to the coast, lived the Muskogean speaking Yamasee and Hitchiti peoples. The Yamasee was a confederation and many tribes such as the Seminole, Guale and Apalachee can trace their heritage back to the Yamasee.

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