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Old 06-28-2006, 12:19 PM   #1
Pangloss62
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Possible UNESCO World Heritage Site

It's kind of off the beaten path, located in the middle of a biological preserve on one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The park archeologist told me how to get there, so one morning on my way to some sugar plantation ruins, I took a little detour into the jungle, and eventually came upon a clear pool of water surrounded by a cordon of large stones. There, on a canvas of black basalt, I saw the simple-but-alluring carvings that make this place resonate with deep primal history.


I took this picture of the petroglyphs in 1998.

Some archeologists speculate that this site was where the ancient Taino people gathered to see their ancestors. It's said the latter took the form of bats which, to this day, swoop over the small reflecting pool to eat the mosquitos that swarm above it at dusk.

There is no such pool anywhere else on the island, and its location and size make most archeologists surmise that it was dug into the ground just for the aforementioned purpose. The petroglyphs on the rocks above are reflected perfectly on its mirror surface, and after a few minutes gazing at them and their reflection, I could not help feeling like I was looking at something that I could not possibly understand, but which I was a part of nonetheless. It was a weird feeling of privilege and trespass; wonder mixed with a bit of trepidation.

I don't know what listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site would mean for this place, but I worry that if too many people go there, the experience I had could never be achieved. I never felt so connected to ancient humanity, and being there alone was why.

http://www.stjohntradewindsnews.com/...=553&Itemid=38
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Old 06-28-2006, 02:05 PM   #2
glatt
 
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When I went to St. John's 15 years ago, I made an effort to see everything there was to see. Rented mopeds and rode over every road we could find on that island. I remember that sugar plantation. I would have enjoyed seeing these petroglyphs even more. Never heard of them though. They must have been kept a secret.

So if they had been a UNESCO site, I'd probably be one of the people visiting them.
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Old 06-28-2006, 02:44 PM   #3
Pangloss62
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St. John

You probably were close. They are about a half mile off the Reef Bay Trail. I was on St. John for work, but it was still like a vacation. Remember that Irish Mon Pub?? That park was a gift of Rockefeller. Thank goodness most of St. John is owned by the NPS, otherwise it would ALL be privatized.
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