The Diaries
October 29th 2008
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11/29 - 11/30
12/01 - 12/02
- First human remainders -  

A tarp to shelter ourselves
Photo : Laurent HOARAU

Shattered yesterday by the sun, we pass the beginning of the day to install a tarp to shelter ourselves. 

We open a new zone of search of four meters by four, to the east of the zone opened in 2006 around the habitat of the Malagasy’s shipwreck. The superior layer, in a zone where a velvet maker pushed, is a mixture of sand and of pads of coral, which returns the slow and difficult progression. We will need more than two hours to come to the end.  It contains some framework nails, small pieces of copper, fragments of ceramic and several fragments of bricks that we know well:  Marked Gartgraig, they were made by Gartcraig Brickworks in Glasgow, Scotland, between 1876 and 1914, and originate very probably of the non identified shipwreck that produced itself in the south of the island.

Next appears a zone of excavations that we also know, originating from the foundation digging of a small building in concrete demolished and buried lately at the top of the mound where we work. Again, some copper pieces are found, as well as a blown glass bottle in a grinds in two parts, doubtless dated also of the XIXth century, and to put in relation with the bricks found in the superior layer.    

Nick in front of the stratigraphy
Photo : Max GUEROUT

While the team digs, Nick hitched himself to the study of the stratigraphy of the released zone yesterday. 

We descend little by little the level of the search, when suddenly, at first afternoon; Jean-François Rebeyrotte brandishes a bone that Thomas Romon identifies straight away as a human vertebra. We are first incredulous, and then surprised to find so early in the search campaign what we came to search for.   

The sensations and the thoughts jostle themselves: here therefore these shipwrecked which we untangle day after day the tiny indications of daily life that, suddenly, arise in front of us with a particularly strong presence; at the same time we have to explain the reasons of this presence, to this place, of human remainders, all the more so as later in the day appears in the same coat, a thighbone in several pieces and an entire radius. They have most probably been moved while the foundation digging of the modern buildings and rejected without consideration to the place where we found them.  Remain now to find the place from which they originate.  We can be assured that the evening will be animated by the research of an explication.