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Chota is a historic Overhill Cherokee site in Monroe County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. For much of its history, Chota was the most important of the Overhill towns, serving as the de facto capital of the Cherokee people from the late 1740s until 1788. A number of prominent Cherokee leaders were born or resided at Chota, among them Attakullakulla, Oconostota, Old Hop, Old Tassel, Hanging Maw, and Nancy Ward. The Chota site developed adjacent to the Overhill town of Tanasi, which preceded Chota as the unofficial Cherokee capital. The two sites share a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, although Tanasi received its own archaeological site designation in 1972. Both sites are now mostly submerged by the Tellico Lake impoundment of the Little Tennessee River. The Chota townhouse site was raised above the reservoir's operating levels and connected via causeway to the mainland. The Chota monument, situated directly above the ancient townhouse site, consists of eight pillars —one for each of the seven Cherokee clans, and one for the nation. The grave of the chief Oconostota, uncovered in the 1969 excavations, was re-interred next to the monument. The site is now managed by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee.
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