Two more visits to Cas Abou

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Cas Abou rooi 20150917 012 smallOn September 17 and September 24 we went for two more visits to the area of Cas Abou. The visit on the 24th was a continuation of the one that we started on September 17 so I combined these two visits in this one report.
On September 17 we gathered once again at the plantation house Cas Abou. From there we wanted to walk through a roi in North-Eastern direction towards the border with Porto Marie. There we hoped to find a similar border gate as we found between San Juan and Cas Abou. On our way to the border we investigated the roi. According to the Werbata map there was nothing of interest in this roi, but to our surprise we found two small dams and one impressive dam in this roi. The two smaller dams were completely broken down in the roi itself but we could see the dam on both sides of the roi. So apparently the force of the water was too much for these two small dams.

The third dam was a large an impressive construction consisting of the dam itself and two buttresses to enforce the dam even more. But also here the force of the water already washed away the underground of one of the buttresses. The 'water'-side of the dam was completely filled up with soil.

What is especially strange is that none of these dams are visible on the Werbata map. That would suggest that these dams didn't exist around 1906 when the fieldwork for this map was done. But the dams istself look older to us. It is unthinkable that Werbata did miss these dams while he did mark the presence of the roi. So we have to conclude that these dams are from a later date.

Our goal, to reach the border with Porto Marie, was not within reach for that first visit. It was far too hot to continue for a long time, so we decided to go to the old road. That road was still in use according to the Kadaster map from 1982, so we hoped to have an easy way to the current asphalt road. But that was an illusion. The road was hardly recognisable as a road. It was overgrown with our 'favorites', the Wabi and Palu di lele. But after a while it became a bit better, but still, we were thankful when we reached the asphalt road. Eddy and François decided to rest at the connection between the old and the new road. The others went back to the parking lot and picked them up when we left. That concluded our first visit. But we still didn't see the border, so we had to come back. 

So on september 24 we once again gathered at the parking lot of the plantation house Cas Abou. There we all jumped in the back of the pickup-truck of François who drove us to a location close to the border. From there is was a rather easy hike to the border. There we found a modern gate instead of the historical border gate that we had hoped to find. We searched the surrounding area in hope to find a trace of a former border gate but didn't find any trace of it. So after a short while we decided to go back to the car. 

Cas Abou 20150924 026 smallFrançois drove us back to the parking lot where he too parked his car. Our second and most important goal for this day was searching for the remainders of the houses that are visible on the Werbata map to the North of the plantation house. Fred, Hetty and I had already found one of these houses during a previous visit, so we started our search by revisiting this house. It is a house that is apparently built in the classic way of first putting up a row of Brasia trunks, then weave branches through these trunks to construct a wall. That wall is then covered with mud and then plastered on both sides for additional strenght and protection. What we found were partly still standing walls with the Brasia trunks as visible remains of the original structure of these walls. At one side the height of the wall reached to the windowsill. The inside of the walls was completely gone, only the Brasia trunks and the outside mud and plaster was still present. Close to this first house were also remnants of a fornu. And a rich field of artifacts.

We continued our search in the direction of another house on the Werbata map. There we found not only another house similar to the first one with also a fornu close to it, but also the foundation of second house and some walls of a third house at this location. That third house had a wall which was constructed from IJssel bricks. Quite unusual for this kind of houses but apparently these IJssel bricks were available. Also in this area we found an unusual rich field of artifacts. And to our great surprise our first find during all of our hikes of a completely intact case bottle. At the same location there were two other mostly intact case bottles. Also several other interesting artifacts.

It was once again a hot day so several of the sleuths decided to stay at this location while Fred and I went on to the next location of houses on the Werbata map. At one of these locations we found only parts of a floor and nothing else of the former house. At the location where Werbata had marked two large houses we found only the foundation of one of these. No walls. And remarkably less artifacts in this part. 

This concluded a very rewarding search. Clearly visible remains of the village that was here in the past and an unusual rich field of artifacts. And all this just beside the road to the beach. A lot of people drive by this area daily withouth knowing that there is such a rich field of historical remains here.

First a picture gallery of our hike through the roi on September 17

Next are the pictures of our hike to the border with Porto Marie and our search for the village