UP archaeologists discover Ice Age human settlement in Pilanduk Cave, Palawan | Inquirer News

UP archaeologists discover Ice Age human settlement in Pilanduk Cave, Palawan

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 08:48 AM September 14, 2022
The 2016 Archaeological Team. Photo by Pilanduk Cave Archaeology Team

The 2016 Archaeological Team. Photo by Pilanduk Cave Archaeology Team

MANILA, Philippines — New discoveries proving the human occupation of Pilanduk Cave in Palawan 20,000 to 25,000 years at the height of the last ice age were unearthed by a team of archaeologists from UP Diliman (UPD) and the National Museum.

In a statement released through the Diliman Information Office on Monday, UPD archaeologist and lead research author Janine Ochoa and co-principal investigator Ame Garong from the National Museum explained that the cave is an important late Pleistocene (ice age) archaeological site in the Philippines.

ADVERTISEMENT

This led to the discoveries of “new radiocarbon dates that securely place the age of human occupation of Pilanduk Cave at the LGM (Last Glacial Maximum)/Last Ice Age at ca. 20,000-25,000 years ago and evidence for shifting foraging behaviors (ecological and behavioral flexibility) of modern humans occupying changing tropical environments (climate and environmental changes) across ca. 40,000 years on Palawan Island,” Ochoa said.

New data and evidence for specialized deer hunting and freshwater mollusc foraging were also gathered during the re-excavation, as well as fossils for a tiger and remains of other native mammal and reptile fauna of Palawan.

FEATURED STORIES

The two, with their research team, re-excavated the site in 2016 “to further the previous research conducted by Jonathan Kress and the National Museum in 1969-1970,” and conducted the analysis of the archaeological material from 2017 up to 2020.

According to Ochoa, the site has a large and well-preserved archaeological assemblage of faunal material, which are vertebrate remains and shells/molluscs, as well as lithic materials or stone tool assemblage.

The two decided to re-excavate the site to verify the dates reported by Kress, “due to the limited stratigraphic data available for Pilanduk, and the limitations of the radiocarbon dating method at the time of Kress’s excavation in the 1970s particularly for dating mollusc remains.”

“In fact, it has the best preserved LGM archaeological record from any site in the Philippine archipelago. There are not many LGM sites in the Philippines because many are likely submerged underwater when the coastlines and the sea levels were much lower during the LGM,” said Ochoa.

The research has already been released online and will be published by Antiquity, an international archaeology journal, in its October 2022 issue.

Ochoa and her colleagues in the same statement then lamented the passing of Kress on August 6.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The archaeological work in Pilanduk Cave would not have been possible without the previous research of Jonathan Kress, who led the first excavation of the site in 1970. Jonathan passed away on 6 August 2022. The Pilanduk and Ille Cave teams remember him most fondly, especially for his joie de vivre and enthusiasm for field work, stone tools, and molluscs,” said Ochoa.

“He would share and recall the local names of various shell taxa, which were taught to him by the indigenous team he worked with. Engaging with students was important for him and he regaled us with exciting and adventurous stories about Palawan in the 1970s. We remember Jonathan as gentle, kind, patient, and full of wisdom,” she added.

RELATED STORIES:

Filipino archaeologists plan more diggings where new human species found

Archaeologists want better protection for cave where new human species found

EDV
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: archeological sites, National Museum, Pilanduk Cave, University of the Philippines
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.