The Angono Petroglyphs

This travel piece from the Philippine Inquirer goes to Angono, in Rizal province, in search of the Angono Petroglyphs – one of the few known rock art sites in the Philippines.

The Angono Petroglyphs, Philippine Inquirer 20110807

In search of Angono’s art treasures
Philippine Inquirer, 07 August 2011

Surprisingly, the rock art is one-of-a-kind in the country. It was discovered by the late National Artist and Angono resident Carlos “Botong” Francisco in 1965 during a Boy Scout field trip. It was told that this area was also used as shelter by Filipino guerilla fighters during World War II.

The 120-plus pictograms depict animated figures, two of which look like turtles, pregnant geckos or, as the guide said, pregnant women. He also explained many of them resembled rituals of some sort. Of course, no one really knows what they represent, since there are no other related artifacts nearby that could help decipher its true message.

The site is significant since it holds part of our history that predates the birth of Christ. In 1985, the petroglyphs were included in the World Inventory of Rock Art under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), International Council of Museums (ICom), International Council of Monuments and Sites (Icomos), and International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCRom), under the Standard Rock Art Files (RAS), with other world famous prehistoric rock art.

Full story here.


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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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