The Maroon Slave Investigation Project (MSAIP).
In 2003, the National Heritage Fund funded historical and archaeological works to be undertaken by a team at the University of Mauritius in order to identify and locate sites associated to marooning in Mauritius.
During that same year, upon information provided by officers of the Forestry Services, members of the historical and archaeological team undertook field work upon the Le Morne Brabant Mountain, where they identified three caves.
What drew the attention of the team members was that one of the caves located on the edges of a precipice, had in front of it, a small wall made of stone that seemed to have been constructed by humans.
This cave showed signs of having been inhabited by humans, with the presence of a fireplace and bone remains. In another cave the team members found pieces of stone that had been brought into the cave.
The Bones were sent to South Africa and the Netherlands for analysis. The latter confirmed that the bones belonged to a young lamb of nine months that had been brought on top of the mountain during either the Dutch or French period.
The team also investigated the physical features on the mountain that are also mentioned in the historical literature and confirmed later on by the oral testimonies of the elderly village members of Le Morne.
The V-Gap "La Fenet" and the Plateau
Historical documents and oral testimonies gathered from the elderly members of the Le Morne Village informed the team of archaeologists about the difficulty of accessing the mountain, due to the presence of a deep crevice in the shape of "V". According to historical literature and oral testimonies, the top of the mountain, notably the area known as "the plateau", could only be accessed by laying a tree trunk over the gap.
Both historical literature and oral testimonies refer to a group of marooned slaves having settled on the plateau, cultivating sweet potatoes, manioc and banana trees and rearing goats. The maroons together with their family members had small dwellings with all the necessary utensils.