May 3, 2018

Before Magellan “discovered” the Philippines, our ancestors have already been residing in the archipelago. But that’s no news. What is news, though, is exactly how long ago our ancestors or the homo sapiens that would later be our ancestors have been living in the islands before the Philippines even became the Philippines.

Exactly how many years have humans been living in the Philippines, care to take a gander?

The former earliest published evidence told us that humans have been present in the archipelago 67,000 years ago. However, a recently published paper proves that hominins have been here for as early as 709,000 years ago. And this is no fake news. It was the National Museum that shared it, after all.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: EARLY HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AS LONG AS 709,000 YEARS AGO HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED. The National Museum takes great pleasure in announcing the publication of the paper “Earliest known hominin activity in the Philippines by 709,000 years ago”, in the May 10, 2018 issue of the journal Nature (with an online version published today, May 3, 2018). This journal article discusses the discovery of the oldest evidence for the peopling of the Philippines by hominins (species generally of the genus Homo, including Homo sapiens or modern humans) by an international team of prehistorians led by Dr. Thomas Ingicco from the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France, with Mr. Clyde Jago-on, Ms. Catherine King, Ms. Marian C. Reyes, and Mr. Angel Bautista from the National Museum, Philippines, among others from different institutions around the world.. The archaeological excavations in Rizal, Kalinga, which have been ongoing for the last several years, in 2017 yielded animal remains including an almost complete skeleton of Rhinoceros philippinensis, stone tools and a tektite. The rhinoceros remains showed butchery marks (cutmarks and percussion marks), suggesting defleshing and bone marrow extraction. All these archaeological findings are indirect evidence for a very old presence of early humans on the island of Luzon far beyond the former earliest published evidence of 67,000 years relating to a hominid bone fragment from Callao Cave, Cagayan. The release of this journal article has already swiftly generated international interest, and its findings are indeed of the highest importance to the prehistory of the Philippine islands and the remote origins of the peoples who came to inhabit them. To present more details from this landmark scientific paper, the National Museum will hold a media and press briefing on May 10, 2018 at 10:30AM at the National Museum of Natural History (former Department of Tourism Building) in Rizal Park, Manila. The contact person for this event is Mr. Erwin Sebastian, who can be reached at (63-2) 5271143 and at [email protected] #NationalMuseumPH #pamana #kulturaph #archaeology

A post shared by National Museum PH (@natmuseumph) on

The paper aptly titled “Earliest known hominin activity in the Philippines by 709,000 years ago” was published as an article in the May 10 issue of the journal Nature. As written in the Instagram post shared by the National Museum, it “discusses the discovery of the oldest evidence for the peopling of the Philippines by hominins (species generally of the genus Homo, including Homo sapiens or modern humans) by an international team of prehistorians led by Dr. Thomas Ingicco from the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France, with Mr. Clyde Jago-on, Ms. Catherine King, Ms. Marian C. Reyes, and Mr. Angel Bautista from the National Museum, Philippines, among others from different institutions around the world.”

The indirect evidence the paper discusses is the “almost complete skeleton of Rhinoceros philippinensis” that “showed butchery marks (cut marks and percussion marks), suggesting defleshing and bone marrow extraction” using stone tools and a tektite found within its immediate vicinity. These rhinoceros remains and stone age tools were found in 2017 during the archaeological excavations being done in Rizal, Kalinga, “which have been ongoing for the last several years.”

The National Museum explains that these evidences are proof of “a very old presence of early humans on the island of Luzon.”

Yay for archaeology!

We hope for and look forward to more discoveries about our prehistory in the future.

Header photo courtesy of Instagram.com/natmuseumph/

 

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TAGS: archaeology culture fixture National Museum nolisoli Prehistory