Koenoekoe di sjon - Santa Martha

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On the Werbata map (1909) there is an area called Koenoekoe di Sjon South of the road to Westpunt through Soto. There should be a ruin according to that map. A more recent map (1993) calls this area San Fernando and shows 4 large buildings and no trace of a ruin. More than enough reason for an investigation by the archaeology sleuths. So we parked our cars on the morning of Thursday July 25, 2013 opposite the doctor's office of Dr Lucasius.

SanFernando 20130725 011 smallOur sleuth chieftain, François, had visited him the day before to get more information about the area. Dr. Lucasius held practice in this office for 25 years. San Fernando was the name of an organisation that offered education and care for youth which didn't fit in the normal educational environment and had a slightly criminal background. For this purpose a group of buildings was set up and used as a housing for these young people. But when the funding stopped and no additional funding could be found the place was abandoned. What happened to the organisation and more importantly with these young people, is unknown to me.
About the ruin on the old map he couldn't tell us anything.

So we went up the road next to the doctor's office and soon found the entrance of San Fernando, an abandoned guard house. From there we had a view on a large building to the right that apparently acted as the main kitchen and a not completed large building to the left. When we entered this building it became clear that it was not planned to leave this place. We found unused rolls of (expensive) isolation blankets for the roof. These were left behind. This building was from a more recent date than all the others that we found so apparently an expansion was planned but never succeeded.

We used old asphalt roads to walk to the first of the four buildings and from there to the other building groups. Each building group consisted of a large L-shaped building with a sleeping area and an area with bathrooms and showers. The other leg of the L was probably used for education and as an area to spend the free time. The L-shaped building enclosed a large courtyard with a free-standing building on the other end that was mainly a roofed in patio. Each of the four building groups had its own name as could be derived from the artwork on an outside wall of each of the building groups. Apparantely they were named Warawara, Prikichi, Trupial and Bubi. These were the birds that were depicted in the artwork (see pictures underneath this report). In the immediate surroundings there were playgrounds and a nice nature. We also found several wells in the area. It looked as a pleasant area to live and spend time. A pity that such a project didn't survive.

Between our visit to the second and third building group we went looking for the ruin. There was a small hill that we climbed in search of the ruin. It took us some time before we found what we came looking for. First we found some traces in the form of a straight line of stones with some pieces of plaster laying around, not attached to the stones. We also found some larger pieces of concrete with coral. But François found the real thing. A large piece of a wall with corners on both ends. A construction so sturdy that it reminded us of a fort but that would be unlikely in this place. After some deliberation we concluded that it could have been a magasina (store house). Maybe part of the outside wall was reinforced because it was close to a slope.

After this nice and comparably easy hike we went to the restaurant Trio Penotti to celebrate Dirk's birthday.

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