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Flat Island

Flat Island photo 1
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Flat Island photo 5
Flat Island photo 1
flat_island2
flat_island3
flat_island4
Flat Island photo 5

On the 16th of December 2009, a visit was paid to Flat Island, off the north coast of Mauritius. The visit was designed mainly to assess the potential for future archaeological research, made more urgent by impending plans to develop the island. The most important aspect of this island is that it is a bounded space that has been left relatively untouched by development in recent years. No modern roads or buildings have been constructed, so the archaeology remains relatively undamaged. It was very obvious that many buildings are still evident as earth works, as the area around the barracks in particular shows.

The standing remains were visited and buildings recorded with photogrammetry. All the buildings and roads visited, as well as other points of interest, were recorded with a handheld GPS receiver. The perimeters of standing structures were measured and recorded; building material used was also noted. The cemetery was visited; this too would benefit from clearing, and detailed recording, as well as a magnetometer survey to investigate the wider landscape and to position the cemetery in context of other activity on the island.

A number of features were noted on the standing archaeology from Flat Island that are worthy of further investigation. These include the use of coral blocks as internal wall divisions, and fine point basalt block rendering that seems indicative of individualistic artisanal style. With the standing archaeology already indicative of specific, perhaps even unique practices, this study area holds considerable promise.