Archaeologists search for links between Philippines and the Northern Marianas

Magapit Excavation in the Cagayan Valley, Philippines. Source: Marianas Variety 20150403

Some of my former colleagues are featured for their ongoing work in the Philippines investigating ancient links between the island and the northern Marianas.

Magapit Excavation in the Cagayan Valley, Philippines. Source: Marianas Variety 20150403
Magapit Excavation in the Cagayan Valley, Philippines. Source: Marianas Variety 20150403

Archaeologists return to Philippine site
Marianas Variety, 03 April 2015

THERE is growing evidence in support of a cultural tradition that binds the Philippines and the Northern Marianas.

Dr. Mike T. Carson and Dr. Hsiao-chun Hung are back in the Northern Philippines to explore further a site rich in shards of pottery suggestive of the earliest pottery-making tradition in the region.

Dr. Carson and Dr. Hung are in Magapit, Cagayan close to the border of Ilocos Norte, in the northern Philippines from March to April 2015.

Variety learned that the site which Dr. Carson referred to as the “Hilltop Site of Magapit,” is famous in world archaeology as a large mound of shell debris, in some places more than 5 meters high, containing abundant broken pottery that is highly distinctive and representative of the earliest pottery-making in the region.

Several research teams from Japan, the U.S., and the Philippines have worked there since the 1970s.

Dr. Carson told Variety yesterday, “Especially exciting right now is growing evidence that the highly distinctive decorated pottery of the Cagayan Valley was part of a special cultural tradition, found not only in the Cagayan Valley but also in other places.”

He said other sites in the northern through central Philippines have yielded pottery with similar decorations, although those sites have not yet been dated securely.

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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