Ruin of plantation house Ravenslot

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Klein Piscadera Ravenslot 20140403 023 smallThe archaeology sleuths revisited the ruins of the former plantation house Ravenslot on Thursday April 3, 2014. These ruins lie at the foot of the Jack Evertsz mountain.
This time we went to show the ruins to Anita de Moulin. She is making an inventory of the plantation houses in Curaçao and Ravenslot was still missing. Apart from Anita we had three other guests, Joëlle de Jong-Mercelina. Zefania Stokkermans and Karel Aster. Also Allan van der Ree was once again present. Often he is not able to attend because of his busy schedule around the setup of the war museum at Blauw. And it was thanks to Allan that we got permission from the owner of Klein Piscadera, mister Ataf, to enter his terrain with the cars. In this way we could start our walk close to the location of the ruins.

Ravenslot is not mentioned on the Werbata map. That means that already in 1906 not much was left of this plantation house. If there were no walls present Werbata omitted often the ruin on his map; if there were some walls left then it would be mentioned with the text ruin. So at the beginning of the 20th century Ravenslot was already past history. Currently this area is part of Klein Piscadera. According to Gerard van Buurt Ravenslot was left by the last habitants in 1860. The plantation Ravenslot is also known under the names Piscaderis, Vergenoeging, Donkerenberg and Blom en Hoop. Especially the name Donkerenberg (dark mountain) is strange in my opinion because the plantation is located at the foot of the Jack Evertszberg and not near the Seru Pretu (dark or black mountain).

After parking the cars we went looking for the ruins. There are two large areas with a lot of stones, foundations of walls, parts of a floor and even some small upright parts of a wall. Probably the highest area is the ruin of the house and the lower lying area the ruin of the magasina. A special find were some pieces of plaster with a red color, apparently the color of the walls. It is not often that we find indications of the color of the walls. Most of the time the color is completely gone on the remaining pieces of plastered wall.

After a pause at the ruins we went looking for indigo tanks. If these are present on a plantation they can be found downwind of the plantation house because of the nasty smell of the rotting indigo plants and with water in the neigborhood. The Werbata map showed a well to the West of the location of the ruins. So this would be a good place to put indigo tanks. The area was relatively easy accessible. Not too many wabis although there were Palu di Lele with thorns and we also encountered lots of Palu di Lechi with tough vines. Most of the area contained lots of artifacts, small pieces of earthenware, parts of gin jars, a rim of a Spanish pot. Almost absent were pieces of roof tiles. Most probably these are reused elsewhere. Thanks to the GPS we found the location of the well. We found a water tank for cattle but not a stone well. Just a natural water hole. No indigo tanks were found.
We discovered a large almost horizontal area covered with stones. Too broad to be a collapsed dry-stone wall. Maybe this was constructed to avoid erosion because of flowing water in the area (erosion dam or wall). On our way to the second well on the Werbata map we found another example of such an erosion dam or wall. Also at that location we found only a natural water hole and no stone well or indigo tanks.

This concluded our hike. We went back to the cars and left the area rather early.

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