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Spring Cave

(Pantrepant East Cave)

May 15, 2005 - 12:00-12:45 EST


District: Pantrepant

Parish: Trelawny

WGS84 L/L: 18 22 33.5; 77 40 51.3


JAD69: 177930 E, 191457 N

JAD2001: 678041 E, 691746 N

Altitude: 125m WGS84

Accuracy: +/- 10m horizontal; +/- 15m vertical

Type: Shelter cave

Accessibility: Walk-in

Depth: 0

Length: 30m

Explorers: JCC - 1965

Survey: N/A

JU Ref: Text - pg 338; Map - none


Entrance size: 10m W x 6m H

Entrance aspect: 25 deg true

Vegetation in general locale: Bush, farm

Vegetation at entrance: Pasture

Rock type: White limestone

Bedding: Poor

Jointing:  Moderate

Speleothems: Stals, flowstone

Palaeo resources: None seen

Archaeo resources: Petroglyphs

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: Hot, dry.

Bats: None

Bat guano: N/A

Guano mining: N/A

Guano condition: N/A

Eleutherodactylus cundalli: None

Neoditomyia farri: None

Amblypygids: None

Periplaneta americana: None

Cave crickets: None

Sesarma: None

Other species: None. This shelter cave has no dark zone.

Visitation: Occasional

Speleothem damage: None

Graffiti: None

Garbage: None

Ownership: Private

Protection: None


Vulnerability: High. This is a Taino site with petroglyphs. It is located on well-controlled land owned by Chris Blackwell, but the glyphs suggest that this site be afforded official protection.


Spring Cave
(Pantrepant East Cave) May 15, 2005
Team: Stewart, Conolley, Roggy.
Notes: RS Stewart

This cave is undoubtedly the site listed in JU as Spring Cave, but the JCO first came to know it as Pantrepant East, when it was visited by IC Conolley as part of archaeological studies he was conducting, so we are also listing it under this designation. This day, it was visited by us before investigating Pantrepant West. We must thank Chris Blackwell, owner of the Pantrepant Estate, for allowing us to access these caves.

In Jamaica Underground, under the entry for Spring Cave, we find only the following: "A shelter, about 15m wide, has Amerindian petroglyphs. May be the same site as Pantrepant Cave." The coordinates given plot 225m, bearing 250 true, from the main entrance to Pantrepant East, in flat land that has no caves. We know of no other caves in the immediate vicinity than the one discussed here. We must therefore conclude Pantrepant East is Spring Cave, and indeed a different site from what we believe to be Pantrepant Cave, also a Taino site, designated Pantrepant West by us. Most confusingly, Pantrepant Cave has a synonym name of, "Spring Cave", but we are tossing that out the window, and disregarding it completely, so that we can bring some clarity to the situation with regard to the identification of the Pantrepant caves.

Spring Cave is what could be referred to as a Complex Shelter, as it has no dark-zone, but has a chamber that runs entirely under a hill, to give entrance on both sides. In addition, there is a section outside a deep cut, under an overhang; this is where the glyphs are found. The chamber that runs through the hill is about 10m wide, and high, and is exposed to daylight in all sections.

Parts of the main chamber might occasionally harbour Artibeus, but none were seen. There are no troglobitic species at the cave due to lack of dark-zone.

The most obvious glyphs here are on a stalagmite that is easily found as one approaches the entrance. It was determined later by DK Roggy that the aspect is towards the rising-point of the sun on the summer solstice, ~70 deg mag, but it isn't known at this time if it is coincidence, or part of a larger pattern. His notes for the cave follow.

Pantrepant East Cave
May 15, 2005
Notes: DK Roggy

We approached this shelter cave and were directed immediately to a petroglyph by Stefan.  I photographed this well-known glyph that comprises a face with something below it (IMG_4764). It faced 357 degrees (mag) according to my compass.  I took some pics of a bit of flowstone above the petroglyph that Stefan and others thought might have something on it (IMG_4766_no_flash, IMG_4767_flash).  I took pics both with and without a flash.  Later examination of the photos does not reveal anything.

I went around the east side of the cave and into another shelter chamber.  After some examination, I found two other petroglyphs, partially covered with soil.  I called Ivor over and had him take a look.  I took pictures of the glyphs with and without flash, both before  (IMG_4768_flash,IMG_4769_no_flash) and after I brushed the soil off with a bandanna (IMG_4771_no_flash_clean, IMG_4772_flash_clean).  I also took a picture with Ivor pointing to the petroglyph so that its location could be readily found again (IMG_4773).  I spoke with Ivor a bit about the possibility Ron Dalton had mentioned to us that such carvings might be aligned to mark significant times of the year, i.e. summer and winter solstices.  I noted that this glyph faced about 70 degrees (mag) toward a stalagmite that might well cast a shadow just above it at sunrise on the summer solstice.

Jamaican Cave Notes - Main PageMay 2005 Caving Notes - Main Page