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Archaeology 101 Mystery Cache

This cache has been archived.

ROTSIP: No response from the owner to the maintenance reminder submitted 8 months ago.
This cache appears to be gone or no longer viable. As it has not been possible to find the cache for months, and it seems unlikely that elements will be replaced soon, I'm archiving it to keep it from continually showing up in search lists, and to prevent it from blocking other cache placements.
If you wish to repair/replace the cache sometime in the future, just contact us (by email, quoting the GC number), and assuming it meets the guidelines, we'll be happy to unarchive it.
Thanks for the past fun.

Hidden : 07/31/2010
2.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Archaeology 101 - by the pooks and Harriet

(Geocaching input by the pooks, archaelogical input by Harriet)

Archaeologists use many different techniques to assist them in finding out more about their subject... (add some blurb here Harriet)

Harriet writes

"As a young student being introduced to archaeological fieldwork and artifacts for the first time, I was intrigued by two things: ostrich eggshell beads (preferably those that broke halfway through the manufacturing process) and clay tobacco pipes. I had been collecting pieces of ceramics since I was very little (driving my mother insane with handfuls of 'bits' in jean pockets. And for the record, the shards washed very well in the Defy Automaid!) so I wasn't so intrigued by those, although, for the historical archaeologist, they are our 'stock in trade' as far as the dating of deposits are concerned.

Archaeologists, whether they work on Stone Age sites, or historical sites, study the things people leave behind; the rubbish, the broken and the lost. And like the pieces of a puzzle, these bits and pieces build a picture of everyday life. And unlike the pretty picture on the cover of the puzzle box, the archaeological picture can be harsh in its reality.

In this geocache, we are going to introduce you to the site of Paradise, in Newlands Forest. The ruins of the dwelling house and it's outbuildings are still visible. Please investigate with your eyes only, and resist the urge to go treasure hunting. We have put some finds out for you to find so you can satisfy your inner Indiana Jones. 

Although much simplified, you will be using the same techniques of dating and refitting which archaeologists use when analyzing artifacts. The historical information collated by the UCT Archaeological Field School (1980-1989) has been included. It illustrates the divide between the recorded, written records and the reality of the ground." 

We recommend you take along a small flat surface (A4 would be adequate) as an aid (you will find out why)

GPS reception is not good, so search a little wider if necessary. Future finders can give me their coordinates and I can adjust the listing accordingly.


Part 1: Proceed to the listed coordinates (WA) to find a container and collect the information  ABCD & EFGH

Part 2: Then go to Location 2 (WB S33 58.597 E1826.430). For a pleasant circular route go right at the bench (WE S33 58.457 E18 26.521) and shortly afterwards take the left fork (WF S33 58.471 E18 26.521)

A camera lucida sketch of Paradise done 1834 - 1838

This site was the  subject of archaeological excavations conducted by the UCT Department of Archaeology's Field School between 1980 and 1989. The information below is mostly from this report.

"Already in 1657, only two years after the refreshment station was founded, it was necessary to start looking for fresh wood supplies on the other side of Table Mountain. In 1657 a man named Leenderts Cornelis asked the VOC if he could use the land at het paradijs and in exchange he would deliver timber to the VOC at no extra charge. In 1659 Cornelis built a wooden house at paradise. He got involved in a skirmish with the local Khoikhoi and three years later was sent back to Batavia as punishment for drunken and rowdy behaviour.

By 1714 the wood resource at the Cape was so depleted that the governor issued a proclamation for stronger controls regarding the use and chopping of wood. The master woodcutter and a handful of sawyers and soldiers were sent to the newly established outpost at Paradise. They not only had to patrol the forest for illegal woodcutting, but they also had to catch runaway slaves and bandits who hid in the dense forest!"


Main House: I-plan
The evidence for the oldest occupation of Paradise is found underneath an I-shaped section of the main house. Bone fragments, bits of broken porcelain and stoneware as well as clay pipes were found. The age of the clay pipes and dated ceramics suggests that the evidence was left by the first handful of soldiers who were sent to Paradise in 1714. 

Analysis of datable ceramics and clay pipes suggests that Outbuilding 1 and the I-shaped house were both built between 1735 and 1750. The food remains suggest that the good fleshy cuts of meat were being eaten by the people who lived in the I-shaped house, while the people living in the outbuilding were getting the tougher stewing cuts, as well as the heads. The woodcutters received a stipend and some rations from the company, but it seems the average woodcutter often went hungry. In 1739 a court inquest held against a group of woodcutters from 't Paradijs showed that they resorted to stealing vegetables from neighbouring farms. Throughout the archaelogical record it seems that the people living in outbuilding 1 were getting the hand-downs from the main house. The ceramics also show the difference in status between the two groups.

Main House: T-plan
Some time during 1750 to 1770 the I-shaped house was demolished down to the foundations and a much smarter T-plan house was built in its place. At the same time Salomon Bosch became the master woodcutter at Paradise. Bosch came to Paradise with his first wife Elizabeth de Nys, with whom he had five children. After her death he married Gezina Martens and fathered a further two children before his own death in 1768. His household inventory lists a large number of porcelain plates and dishes on display in the voorhuis as well as many of his personal possessions decorated with silver and golden trimmings.

Main House: H-plan
When Salomon Bosch died, his widow Gesina Martens married Johan Christoffel Gottlieb and during this time and extra room and stable were added to the back wing of the main house. One must remember that the outpost was far away from the castle and that people tended to be rather self-sufficient.

Towards the end of the 18th century the VOC started experiencing financial difficulties. By 1790 the outpost had been almost closed down. In 1797 Lady Anne Barnard and her husband Andrew Barnard moved to paradise. They used paradise as a rural retreat where they could get away from the hustle and bustle of life at the castle.

"Before the House which was raised a few steps from the court there was a row of Orange Trees, loaded with fruit both ripe and green which shadowed the windows. A Garden well stocked with fruit trees of every description was behind the house, thro' which a nasty stream of water descended from the mountain, and to the left there was a romping Grove of fir trees whose stems agitated by the slightest breeze of winds knocked their heads together like angry bollocks in a most ludicrous manner" [From The Cape Journals of Lady Anne Barnard. Edited by AM Lewin Robinson. 1994 Second series No. 24. Van Riebeeck Society, Cape Town]

A modern reconstruction of Paradise at Newlands

Go to the main house. How many rooms in the wing at the back. Answer = J

Go to the sign in front of the pit. (this sign erroneously implies that you are looking at Outbuilding One which is in fact in the forest just behind the structure in front of you - this structure is referred to as a "stone-lined pit of unknown purpose" by the archaeologists who conducted this excavation). What is the 1st letter of the sixth word of the third sentence (A=1, B=2 etc) Answer = K 

Go to the sign at outbuilding two. How many LARGE poplar trees are there within the walls of outbuilding two - in a clump towards the right of the sign. Answer = L

(ps - these questions are rather unscientific and uninspiring, but the idea was that you visit this site and spend a little time here as it happens to be the inspiration for this cache!)

Part3: Now proceed to S33 58.CGL E18 26.JKG and search for another container to obtain the solution to the final. The GPS reception is bad and I'm afraid the coords might be out, so please take the spoiler picture along with you to assist in identifying the spot. There is a tree that has roots growing over a rock that looked to me like two fingers holding a cricket ball which is within six meters of the spot.

The puzzle is to be completed on-site. However, more background information may be obtained after you have completed the cache via the geochecker below (still to be added)

Have fun

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ybpngvba 1: Va cvcr va gebhtu oruvaq ohvyqvat Ybpngvba 2: - Ybpngvba 3: Ybbx ng fcbvyre. 1z ebpx yrnavat ntnvafg/tebjvat vagb onfr bs gerr. Svany: Ubyybj va onfr bs bnx

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)