Rif St Marie - old houses

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More than 2 years since my previous visit to this area the archaeology sleuths went again to the former plantation of Rif St. Marie. This time we were interested in the many houses that are visible on the topographical map from the beginning of the 20th century (Werbata, 1909). 
We parked our cars close to the intersection of the road to Coral Estate and the road to Daaibooi. In that area a dirt road made it easy to walk the first part to the old houses. That dirt road is the old road that is visible on the Werbata map.

RifStMarie 20130801 006 smallFirst we went to two houses that we already visited the previous time. The one in the picture to the left is reasonably intact. It has relatively thin walls although these are constructed in the traditional way with intertwined branches covered with mud (see one of the pictures underneath this report). 
The other one is just a ruin. An old buoy was used as a storage tank for water.

Through the house we went in the direction of the Pos di Pia (large watering place). This time it was a lot easier to get there than the last time. There is a large stone dam and a sluice to direct the water into the watering place. Currently there is no water in the Pos di Pia. Although it was still early we took here our brake to eat an apple. During this resting pause I went looking for a second watering place that is marked on the Werbata map. I found it and apparently these two are connected because there is a dam inbetween with holes that allow the water to go from one watering place to the other. A bit strange because on the Werbata map there is a road between these to watering places. There is no trace left of this old road.

From there we went in the direction of the other houses. That was considerably more difficult because the vegetation became more and more dense. In total we found the foundations of three stone houses that are marked on the map. In the area there is abundance of artfacts. Strangely enough we also found several large old sea shells. Apparently one of the inhabitants collected these because it is unlikely that this is an indian site.
There are far more houses visible on the map but we were running out of time. 

The way back to the cars was very difficult. It was hot, we were tired and the vegetation was very dense. But we made it. Some of us went home, but Eddy, Dirk and I went to another watering hole to end the hike with some beers.

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