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Appleton Tower Maze

May 17, 2005 - 15:00-15:45 EST


District: Appleton

Parish: St Elizabeth

WGS84 L/L: Reserved due to archaeo resources


JAD69: Reserved

JAD2001: Reserved

Altitude: 140m WGS84

Accuracy: +/- 5m horizontal; +/- 15m vertical

Type: Labyrinth

Accessibility: Walk-in

Depth: 0

Length: 260m

Explorers: NSS - 1987

Survey: NSS - 1987

JU Ref: Text - pg 79; Map - none


Entrance size: 6m W x 4m H

Entrance aspect: 30 deg true

Vegetation in general locale: Farm

Vegetation at entrance: Farm

Rock type: White limestone

Bedding: Poor

Jointing: Moderate

Speleothems: Stals, flow

Palaeo resources: Breccia

Archaeo resources: Taino potsherds

Hydrology: Dry

Siltation: N/A

Sink: N/A

Rising: N/A

Stream passage with surface activity: N/A

Stream passage without surface activity: N/A

Dark zone: 0%

Climate: Warm, semi-humid.

Bats: <500

Bat guano: Some

Guano mining: Current

Guano condition: Wet/compact

Eleutherodactylus cundalli: Some

Neoditomyia farri: None seen

Amblypygids: None seen

Periplaneta americana: Some

Cave crickets: None seen

Sesarma: None

Other species: None. Much of the cave is twilight zone.

Visitation: Occasional

Speleothem damage: None

Graffiti: Some

Garbage: Some

Ownership: Private

Protection: None


Vulnerability: High. Evidence of Taino use was seen (potsherds, bivalve shells).


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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