Seized Maitum artefacts may represent another tribe

Stylistic differences indicate that the anthropomorphic jars that were seized earlier as part of an illegal haul in Maitum may represent a different tribe from that was excavated in 1991. The looters apparently used the published archaeological report on the Maitum jars as a reference when they recovered the jars years before.

Seized cultural artifacts in Maitum: remnants from yet another ancient Mindanawon tribe
MindaNews, 22 September 2008

Vigilance by residents, the police, the local government in Maitum, Sarangani and the provincial government has paid off: five of the 22 sacks of cultural artifacts seized by the police last month have been transported to the National Museum as initial inspection by archaeologist Dr. Eusebio Dizon showed the shards from anthropomorphic burial jars are different from the now-famous “faces from Maitum.”

“They’re a different people. They’re a bit different from the Maitum collection that’s why it’s good to know how different they really are,” Dizon said when he passéd by the provincial police headquarters in Alabel, Sarangani from Balut Island on September 11, on his way to Manila, to check on the artifacts as directed by the National Museum.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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