On Thursday January 15, 2015, the archaeology sleuths went way back in time. The target was Seru di kueba in the former plantation of Sint Hyronimus, although the area is commonly known as Wacao. This mountain is known for its fossils. The rock is formed underwater in the Eocene period and contains a lot of fossils. These fossils are at least 33.9 million years old (end of eocene periode) but can be as old as 56 million years (start of eoceen period). The mountain contains a lot of shallow caves, the sides of which look like compressed sandstone.
We had permission from the owners of the plantation and there were no shooting exercises in the area. We entered the plantation through the gate, changed into the 4x4 cars of some of the sleuths and drove in the direction of the mountain. Luckily the dirtroad was in good condition and we could easily reach the top of the Seru di Kueba. There we parked our cars and started our hike.
We descended along the South-Eastern side of the mountain; rather steep but doable. Greatest problem was the unstable underground and rocks that easily crumbled under our weight. We took our first break to enjoy the view and to eat coconut and apple. At some locations there was an abundance of fossils while at other places we found none. We continued our hike through a roi; there we saw many fossils. Then once again uphill where we took another break on a small subtop. We had to keep our bags close to us to prevent them from rolling down the hill. At this point we split; Karel, Fred and I went via a different route than the others. At one point along that route we could clearly smell bats. A short time later we found a small opening that probably was the entrance/exit of a small cave. The opening was too small for us to enter the cave. Interestingly enough the ceiling of this cave was white and consisted of phosphate. We didin't see any bats though.
The two groups came together on the top where our cars were parked. From there we drove first in the direction of the coast to check an old observation post, probably in use during the shooting exercises, and then went back to the entrance where the other cars were parked. After thanking the owners for the permission to enter the area we went to Dokterstuin where we celebrated Eddy's birthday with a nice meal and drinks.
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- Our track over the Seru di kueba Our track over the Seru di kueba
- François is looking at one of the two Piedra Grandi (large rocks) François is looking at one of the two Piedra Grandi (large rocks)
- On the smaller of the two Piedra Grandi these two Warawara's are looking at us On the smaller of the two Piedra Grandi these two Warawara's are looking at us
- We start our descend of the Seru di kueba We start our descend of the Seru di kueba
- Along the slope there are numerous small caves Along the slope there are numerous small caves
- The material looks like sandstone The material looks like sandstone
- Young plant; the lower two orange leaves are called cotyledons Young plant; the lower two orange leaves are called cotyledons
- Art by nature Art by nature
- This mountain is known for its fossils; these date from the Eoceen, more than 33.9 million years old This mountain is known for its fossils; these date from the Eoceen, more than 33.9 million years old
- Another fossil Another fossil
- Our first break Our first break
- This is where we came from when starting our hike This is where we came from when starting our hike
- Fred is preparing a coconut for us Fred is preparing a coconut for us
- Walking through a roi Walking through a roi
- Fossil shell Fossil shell
- Deer or goat Deer or goat
- And more fossils in the rock And more fossils in the rock
- This hermit crab is carrying a special shell This hermit crab is carrying a special shell
- The inner structure of a leaf The inner structure of a leaf
- The largest fossil we found The largest fossil we found
- Another break; a bit dangerous location Another break; a bit dangerous location
- Fred, Karel and I took a different route and found this bat cave Fred, Karel and I took a different route and found this bat cave
- The side of the bat cave The side of the bat cave
- Very special fossil; it looks like fern spores printed in a fossil shell Very special fossil; it looks like fern spores printed in a fossil shell
- A large Century plant on the slope A large Century plant on the slope
- Almost back where we started Almost back where we started
- My car is giving shade to the tired sleuths My car is giving shade to the tired sleuths