On Thursday the archaeology sleuths, as we like to call ourselves, gathered at the entrance of the plantation Cas Abou. Our goal was to search for any remnants of a small village that was located on the Giftenberg, in the past a separate small plantation but currently an area of the plantation of Cas Abou. According to the Werbata topographical map of 1909 there were (at least) three houses here each with a wooden or sod structure next to it and each with a fenced-in area around it.
This is the area of this map that clearly shows these houses (red) with the wooden or sod structure next to it (black) and the fences (green). The area is close to the road so we parked our cars at the entrance of the Cas Abou plantation. From there we went on foot along the road towards the beach. After about 100 meters we went into the dense vegetation in the direction of a large group of what locally is called the Kaktùs Sürnam (Monkey puzzle euphorbia - Euphorbia lactea). This plant was used in the past to make fences so the presence here could be the first sign of the former habitation.
The vegetation consisted mostly of Palu de Lele (Randia aculeata), which is a plant with nasty spines, and Prickly pear cacti, also with lots of spines. Especially the latter made it difficult to make progress. But this was nothing compared to the Kaktùs Sürnam which was absolutely impenetrable as this picture shows. So we went around these. We were close to the location of the first house and gradually we found more artifacts. Shards of pottery, shards of earthenware gin bottles, large and small glass bottles, enamel kitchenware and a tool for gardening (chapi or hoe). But no foundation of the house itself. We found a floor made from pieces of finger coral which was often made just outside the house. And we found some IJsselstones and plaster and we found several piles of stones; apparently that was all that was left of the foundation of this house. It could be that the remnants of the house were underneath the large Kaktùs Sürnam but we were unable to get into this area.
On we went in the direction of the second house. The vegetation was less dense but nevertheless we all got several spines from the Prickly pear in our legs and/or arms. They seemed more aggressive here than elsewhere.
There were far less artifacts here; it looked as if this area was cleared in the past. We found no obvious indication of a house. We found some suspicious stone formations but no plaster or other indications of a house. The same at the location of the third house. Also there the area looked cleared in the past and the only thing that reminded us of a house were several piles of stones; some of the stones were in a rather straight line. Also here far less artifacts than at the location of the first house.
Although we didn't find any ruins of the stone houses the presence of the artifacts, the coral floor, some pieces of plaster at the location of the first house and the suspicious piles of stones at the location of the other two houses make it clear that some people lived in this area.
Afterwards we went for the traditional birthday lunch at the restaurant of Dokterstuin. Three of the members of this group celebrate their birthday around this day so we combined these into one big celebration.
- The track that we walked in blue The track that we walked in blue
- We found this cross on a tree; maybe a deadly accident here in the past We found this cross on a tree; maybe a deadly accident here in the past
- Oops, this seems to be no option; better go around it Oops, this seems to be no option; better go around it
- Part of a glass bottle Part of a glass bottle
- Nice top of a small glass bottle Nice top of a small glass bottle
- Some kitchenware made from cast iron Some kitchenware made from cast iron
- Probably the remnant of a drum Probably the remnant of a drum
- Porcelain and glass Porcelain and glass
- A small (wine?) bottle A small (wine?) bottle
- Plaster Plaster
- A hoe A hoe
- IJsselstone (left) and cement mixed with ground tiles IJsselstone (left) and cement mixed with ground tiles
- More kitchenware More kitchenware
- A floor made of finger coral A floor made of finger coral
- Dutch jenever Dutch jenever
- Florida water from New York Florida water from New York
- Several artifacts Several artifacts
- Eddy studied the map and explains Eddy studied the map and explains
- Looking in and around the Kaktùs Sürnam for traces of habitation Looking in and around the Kaktùs Sürnam for traces of habitation
- One of the several Palu di Sia (Gum tree) that we encountered One of the several Palu di Sia (Gum tree) that we encountered
- A large piece of a cellar bottle (Kelderfles) A large piece of a cellar bottle (Kelderfles)
- The top of a similar bottle The top of a similar bottle
- Unknown object, maybe used to transport milk Unknown object, maybe used to transport milk
- A shard of pottery A shard of pottery
- Fred at the location of the second house Fred at the location of the second house
- A suspicious amount of stones; could be the remnants of a foundation A suspicious amount of stones; could be the remnants of a foundation
- These stones form a more or less straight line These stones form a more or less straight line
- Pile of stones under a candle cactus Pile of stones under a candle cactus
- More pottery More pottery
- Time for a rest Time for a rest
- Thick piece of pottery; could be an ointment jar or maybe a small cup (oorlam) Thick piece of pottery; could be an ointment jar or maybe a small cup (oorlam)
- More stones More stones
- A part of a hoe A part of a hoe
- Part of a cast iron pot Part of a cast iron pot
- A pisspot A pisspot
- Probably a cast iron lamp Probably a cast iron lamp
- An old Gin bottle An old Gin bottle
- A lonely fungus; the season is over A lonely fungus; the season is over
- A birthday celebration lunch at Dokterstuin A birthday celebration lunch at Dokterstuin
- Fred unpacks his present Fred unpacks his present