Plantation Fontein

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For me the first visit to the plantation of Fontein, for most of the others a repeat visit. The group was rather small because of vacation of a number of other participants. Fred, Michèle, Eddy, Hetty and I were present as was a special guest, Jasmijn, Hetty's daugther who is currently on vacation in Curaçao.
After checking with the guard at the entrance of the newly built village on part of the former plantation Fontein we got permission to enter the plantation by car; we were allowed to drive into the uninhabited part of the area. 

Fontein 20130613 004 smallThe fact that we could drive to our planned destination made it possible to search the area more thoroughly. First we drove to the location where a grave is marked on the topographical map of the beginning of the 20th century. Fred had been here before and had a waypoint of this grave in his GPS. That made it easy to find it, because, although it is close to the dirt road, it is absolutely invisible from the road. The size of the grave suggests that 2 people are buried here. But it is unclear who is/are buried here. 
There is a symbolic fence around the grave to prevent accidental damage to the grave by a bulldozer when clearing the area. Apparently that has happened in the past.

From there we drove further till an area in which we expected to find remnants of a village, the former plantation house and the magazina (large storage building near the plantation house). On the topographical map the former village is clearly visible; there is no sign of the plantation house or magazina on the map except for a written text Ruin. 
There is a path cleared by Uniek Curaçao in the past. Although It is partly overgrown it made it rather easy for us to find our way in this area. Fontein 20120613 structuurSoon we found a strange structure; strange in the sense that we have never seen such a structure before. There are walls that form a large rectangle. This area is divided in two by a low wall. One half is further divided in two and from that one half is once again divided in two. These three containers are all made watertight with a plaster made from roof tiles. Apparently these three containers were used to store some liquid. We know of structures with three watertight containers to process indigo but these have a different setup. The purpose of the setup that we found here is not known to us. The structure was so interesting that we cleared it from the vegetation to get a better look but we are still puzzled.

The puzzle became even greater when we moved on. We found another remains of a watertight structure. The part that was left from the original structure had a curved wall. Could be a well but we never saw a well with this kind of plaster on the inside.

Fontein 20130613 045 smallWe continued in the direction of the former village. As soon as we reached the location of the first house on the map we found a foundation and also some artifacts. But our main target was the magazina and the plantation house so we returned. First we found the ruin of the magazina. An impressive building. All four walls are still present. Only the roof is gone and there are no tiles on the floor so probably these are reused somewhere else. The walls are very thick at the bottom and smaller at the top. Strangely enough we found in the plaster of one of the walls several primitive drawings of sailboats. They look old to me.
Inside the magazina we took a rest and ate an apple. And when it started to rain we sheltered as good as possible close to the wall. Luckily there was no heavy rain because without a roof it was not so useful as a shelter.
There was also an extension to the main storage area which was accessible through a large portal.

Then we focussed on finding the remains of the plantation house. There was a large building visible on the topographical map so that is where we went looking. Close to its location we found several foundations with plaster and also a large area with parts of a thick floor. The area covered by the foundations and the floor is quite large so most probably this is where the plantation house was located. Apparently not as solidly built as the magazina because there were no upright walls left. We found several artifacts in the area and a large number of roof tiles. It would be worthwhile to clear this area and do a thorough archaeological survey here.
From there we came back at the strange structure with the watertight containers and then we went back to the cars.

A journey with a lot of interesting finds. If someone can shine a light on the purpose of the strange structure please contact me throught the contact page.

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