Jamaican Caving Notes
Appleton Tower Maze
May 17, 2005
Team: Stewart, Conolley, Slack
Notes: RS Stewart
The morning was spent driving from Windsor to the southwest Cockpit Country, where we would be based again in Quick Step, at Joeanne and Hortense's. En route, we would spend the afternoon finding two of our targets, in Appleton, and Thornton. Our plans worked out well this day, with sites found and all of our driving repair-free.
Two Sundays before, we had visited the Appleton Estate Main Office to see if permission could be obtained to cross their land in search of Tower Maze. There had been no one with the authority on the scene to grant permission, so first thing we did upon arrival in the district was to visit the Main Office to try again. This time, appropriate people were present, permission was soon obtained, and we even had advice on where to look. Within 20 minutes, we were on a lane in cane fields closely examining two limestone karst towers that lay before us. By good fortune, an older gentleman came along on a road that crossed ours, and I was able to learn which of the towers indeed had a cave, that being the one to the left, a short distance away. Within 30 minutes of leaving the Main Office, we were at the entrances to Appleton Tower Maze.
The cave is primarily a shelter with extensions in/through an isolated spar of White limestone, but has enough of a dark area to see occasional occupation by fruit-bats.
Taino pottery was found by Ivor, along with other indicators of their past presence. This was not previously known to be an archaeological site.
Excellent hard breccia is present.
Garbage indicated occasional collection of wet guano by people of the district. This is taking place further into the cave than where the pottery was found.
Water was pooled in part of the cave, but it is not a stream/river cave, so we are entering it into the database as "dry".
We are listing this site with a high vulnerability due to it being a Taino site and having breccia that seems to have potential for palaeo investigations. We believe it to be on Appleton Estate land, so there is the chance of protection arrangements occurring.
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