specialists of the National Institute of preventive archaeological research in France (Inrap) conducted a research in the heart of camps for hermits, which was located in the prison on the island of St. Joseph. The result has been documenting little-known areas of the camp and discover the water system of the prison which to this day is considered one of the worst in the history of mankind, because in France no one from it has not returned.
a Brief report of the archaeological operations is published on the website Inrap. We are talking about the camp, which was located on the island of St. Joseph – the southernmost of the three Islands Rescue off the coast of French Guiana.
the First mention of them belong to the XVII century. The name of the island received after the in 1764, a group of colonists were miraculously saved them from raging on the mainland of epidemics. Subsequently, however, they began to be called “Islands of the devil”.
the fact that after the French revolution began here forever exiled enemies of the First Republic. A half-century later, under Napoleon III, the island of Salvation became one of the worst prisons in the history of mankind.
Here and looked modern archaeologists. The prison is abandoned, the jungle gradually absorb them. They were founded in 1852. Napoleon III was the consistent development of the penitentiary institutions. The construction of prisons has significantly changed the landscape of the archipelago.
However, the area that was examined by our contemporaries, was built between 1897 and 1906, and in 1913, it has significantly expanded. As established by archaeologists, was originally the camp consisted of two large rectangular buildings with dorms and chambers interspersed with courtyards.
Metal bars and doors to them were made on the mainland and then were transported to the island. Here practiced solitary confinement, also called “dry guillotine.” By the way, it was used until 1925. The law provides for keeping a prisoner in solitary confinement day and night, in conditions of complete isolation and absolute silence.
In these cells was not the ceiling that allowed the guards to constantly monitor prisoners on top. In the immediate vicinity of the camp was built several houses in which lived the guard. The last convicts were sent here in 1953.
Archaeological operation, despite its modest scale, allowed us to conduct a topographical study. As a result, the archaeologists found a large number of long-forgotten structures, including brick wells.
were Also found two staircases leading to a large platform on which was placed a dried up stone structures of oval shape. Presumably, there were flower beds.
the building Was found towhich researchers have identified as the kitchen. It was connected to the Sewerage system. The purpose of one more found of the building is not yet established. Judging by its design, it was rebuilt several times and adapted to different needs.
Archaeologists are almost not found on the island artifacts. Their prey were fragments of fittings and hinges of the iron doors, and a few fragments of pottery, and it turned out to be pre-Columbian period.