Photo by: Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Public Doman

By the late 17th century, the English expanded their exploration of the New World beyond the early East Coast settlements like colonial Virginia.  This expansion began the second wave of contact between whites and the Native Americans.  By then, the Native Americans were fully evolved into the Muscogee.  As the English trekked further to the west, they began establishing settlements in Muscogee territory.  According to the book, The Creeks, by Michael D. Green, the first settlement was in the Carolina colony. Trading between the two groups began.  There was one prominent Native American settlement that was familiar to the English.  It was located along the Ocmulgee River (a.k.a. Ochese Creek).  Thus, the English labeled the Muscogee as “the Creeks.” The English primarily sought deer skins from the Creeks. The Creeks sought guns, clothing, metal tools, and other items from the English.
The first significant wave of Native American contact with Europeans began when Spanish explorers arrived in the Southeast in the early 16th century.  Hernando de Soto was one such explorer.  He arrived in 1539.  Eventually, contact with the Spanish devastated the Native Americans due to the introduction of European diseases, warfare and the servitude that was forced upon them. The Mississippian society and culture collapsed.  The survivors banded together and rebuilt the culture and way of life, emerging as a confederacy that is known as the Muscogee.  This group evolved for over 100 years before having contact with Europeans again. 
The Creek Indians, The Federal Road and The Ridge
During prehistoric times, the ancestors of the Creek Indians occupied the southeastern region of the present day United States.  These Native Americans evolved over four distinct pre-historic time periods – Paleo, Archaic, Woodland and Mississippian. The Mississippian time period, from A.D. 800 to A.D. 1500 is where we begin the story of the Muscogee, or Creek, Indians.