The Poison Wood Area, Part 1 . . . November 4, 2009

By Toni Carrell

For the past couple of days we fanned out across the island to see if we can locate any other structures from the fort. We’ve hacked, crawled, and swatted lots of mosquitoes along the way and have learned a lot. One of the things we’ve learned is that it is likely that not all of the buildings were constructed of stone and if there are other buildings they will leave only very subtle clues.

A good example is the infamous “Poison Wood” area. Despite our concerns about going back in there, we poked around removing leaf litter and scraping away the thin topsoil. One of the first things uncovered was a concentration of old, very old, conch shells. We know from the other structures that the soldiers were eating a lot of conch. Then we saw some very tiny fragments of typical ceramics (called cream ware and blue transfer ware). A bit more investigation turned up some heavy pieces of cast iron and some iron nails.

But the question is, “Is this an area where there was a building or just where they threw stuff?”

We really want the answer, so we plan on going back there tomorrow to do some more work. Stay tuned . . . maybe we can figure this out together.