Construction around historical Spanish bridges halted

Philippine Inquirer, 17 April 2017

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has stopped the controversial road construction project around Puente de Gibanga and Puente de Princesa in Tayabas, Quezon, pending submission of its plans to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on how best to conserve the Spanish-era bridges.

Both bridges, with nine other Spanish colonial bridges in the city, were collectively declared National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum (NM) in 2011.

Source: DPWH, National Museum reach deal on ancient Tayabas bridges | Inquirer lifestyle

[Paper] What plants might potentially have been used in the forests of prehistoric Southeast Asia?

A new paper by Xhauflair et al. examines plant exploitation in Palawan, Philippins today and its potential for understanding plant exploitation in prehistory.

Pleistocene and Holocene lithic assemblages found in Southeast Asia are characterised by simple production techniques and a paucity of formal stone tools. This situation led some scholars to hypothesise that this situation reflected an adaptation of prehistoric human groups to the rainforest and that these simple stone tools had been mainly used to manufacture more complex implements made of bamboo. Microscopic use traces observed on stone tools could support this hypothesis since many result from plant processing. However, it remains unclear whether these traces were produced by working bamboo or other plants, due to the lack of a suitable use-wear reference collection. To be able to clearly discriminate the use-wear resulting from bamboo processing, such a collection needs to encompass use traces resulting not only from bamboo processing but also from working various other plants, which might potentially have been used by prehistoric groups. We present here the results of a three month field work among Pala’wan communities aiming to know what plants from the forests of Palawan, Philippines are used nowadays, are therefore useful to humans in general and might have been used during the past as well. We recorded the use of 95 different plant species belonging to at least 34 different families. Archaeobotanical studies confirm that some of those plants were available and used by humans in the past while others would have been extant at least in forest refugia, even during glacial periods. Those plants are processed by the Pala’wan at all life stages from seed to dead trees and the parts involved are very diverse. While the most frequent type of use that we witnessed was technological in nature (67 plant species), plants are also used for alimentary, medicinal, ornamental, and sanitary purposes, and even for producing poison. The observations presented here can serve as a basis for use-wear analysts to design experiments in relation to plant exploitation by humans during the past, and to enlarge reference collections.

Source: What plants might potentially have been used in the forests of prehistoric Southeast Asia? An insight from the resources used nowadays by local communities in the forested highlands of Palawan Island

Tracing an ancient gold trade trail in the Philippines using satellite imagery

A just-published paper in JAS: Reports traces an ancient gold trading trail in northwestern Philippines using satellite imagery.

A Filipino archaeologist traces an ancient gold trading trail in the northwestern Luzon, thanks to state-of-the-art satellite imagery and image enhancement techniques

Source: Looking into the past through the eyes of the future
Paper: WorldView2 satellite imagery in remote sensing a past gold trading trail in Luzon: Testing ethnohistory-based and GIS-based models

Pseudo-archaeology conference in Philippines next month

Warning: A pseudo-archaeology conference held next month in the Philippines plans to announce a new discovery in Mindanao using a new scanning technology that can purportedly penetrate 6 km into the earth. Just to be clear, the organisers of this so-called Asean Advanced Archaeology Symposium are neither affiliated with ASEAN, nor with any archaeological institute (university, government or otherwise) in Southeast Asia.

The symposium carries many red flags: it promises the participation of archaeologists and geologists from all over Southeast Asia, but provides no names. A quick google search of the organisation’s director reveals his theories about ancient alien contact, while another speaker mentioned in the article is the discoverer of the Bosnian “pyramids”, another archaeological hoax.

Where can you find a scanning instrument that can penetrate 6 kilometers deep into earth?

At the Asean Advanced Archeology Symposium, the “future of Archeology” will be unveiled from April 27 to 30 2017.

Source: Butuan archeology symposium to unveil ‘Geoscan Technology’ | Inquirer Technology

[Paper] Collaborative and Indigenous Archaeology in the Northern Philippines

New paper in Advances in Archaeological Practice
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2016.7

Recent trends in the practice of archaeology have seen the emergence of the active involvement of stakeholders in the research process. This is an important development, given that the relationship between archaeologists and the communities that they work with has been tenuous, particularly when archaeological findings contest ethnic identities. As a case in point, the findings of the Ifugao Archaeological Project (Philippines) question the bases of Ifugao identity. Ifugao identity is centered on wet-rice production and resistance to colonialism. Previously, the dating of the inception of the Ifugao rice terraces was placed at 2,000 years ago. The findings of the Ifugao Archaeological Project (IAP), however, suggest that the construction of the terraces coincided with the arrival of the Spanish in the northern Philippines. Initially, this finding did not sit well the larger Ifugao descendant communities, but, as our article narrates, the pursuit to actively involve stakeholders in the research process resolved this issue. Our experience in Ifugao has shown that the inclusion of the voices of stakeholders in the interpretation of the past is inadequate because it suggests that indigenous stakeholders are simply contributors to, and not co-investigators of, research projects. As our work in Ifugao demonstrates, primary stakeholders are now co-investigators (exemplified by this coauthored article).

Source: Ifugao Archaeology | Advances in Archaeological Practice | Cambridge Core

CFP: Archaeology of the Seaports of Manila Galleon and the History of Early Maritime Globalization

Conference Announcement
Calling for papers of the international conference on “Archaeology of the Seaports of Manila Galleon and the History of Early Maritime Globalization”
July 2123, 2017Amoy, Fujian, China

 

During 16-19 century, the Spanish navigators established and operated the Manila Galleon maritime route which connected eastern Asia and New Spain in the American continent. The galleons sailed via the hub seaports and trade centers of Manila in the Philippines and Acapulco in Mexico, being a prosperous route for more than 200 years. This pioneering navigation of pan-Pacific regions promoted early global maritime trade and can be regarded as a new maritime Silk Road between the East and the West.

The Manila Galleon Navigation is an interesting academic theme which had been investigated and researched by multi-disciplines as archaeology, history, anthropology, marine navigation, oceanology, and etc. in last half century. The seaport sites and shipwrecks underwater are respectively 2 important types of cultural heritage contributing to archaeological reconstruction of galleon navigation history. An international academic workshop of “Early Navigation in the Asia-Pacific Region” was carried out at Harvard University in summer of 2013. Maritime archaeologists from United States, Mexico, England, Philippine and China met to discuss the early pan-Pacific maritime trade history focusing on the perspective of shipwreck archaeology of galleons (Wu, C. editor, Early Navigation in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Maritime Archaeological Perspective, Springer Press, 2016)

A further dialogue on the galleon and related history of maritime cultural interaction between the Eastern Asia and New Spain will be carried out at Amoy on July 21-23, 2017. The meeting calls for papers focusing on the newest developments in the archaeology of the Manila Galleon connecting seaports of Manila in Philippines, Acapulco and San Blas in Mexico, Hagatna in Guans, Haicheng (Amoy), Macao in China, Nagasaki in Japan. A dozen of presentations respectively on different seaports archaeological fieldworks will be welcome. We hope these archaeological discoveries on galleon seaports will open a new window for sighting and understanding the social cultural exchange on the new maritime Silk Road of pan-Pacific region in last 500 years.

 

Proposed topics:

1, New archaeological discoveries of Manila Galleon Archaeology and related seaports such as Manila in Philippines, Acapulco and San Blas in Mexico, Hagatna in Guans, Haicheng (Amoy), Macao in China, Nagasaki in Japan

2, Maritime cultural heritage of harbors, historical city architecture, maritime folklore and population of different Manila Galleon related seaports.

3, Transportation between Manila Galleon related harbors, and origin of the cargo such as the kilns of the ceramic industry.

4, Trade, merchants, business organizations and navigation, related to the Manila Galleon.

 

Conference information:

1, Time: July 21-23, 2017

2, Place: Xiamen University, Xiamen (Amoy), Fujian, China

3, Financial support: The organizer is the Center for Maritime Archaeology of Xiamen University. It will pay the authors’ air travel to and from Xiamen, accommodations and a field trip in Xiamen, during the conference if the complete submit paper is accepted by the organizers before the conference.

4, Conference contact:

Dr. Miao Liu, Associate Professor of CMAXMU, liumiao@xmu.edu.cn

Applications open: World Heritage Young Professionals Forum 2017

For eligible applicants from Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia (current member states of the World Heritage Committee)

Prior to the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee and in the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme, the Polish National Commission for UNESCO and the International Cultural Centre in Krakow are proud to hold the Heritage Youth Forum 2017 “Memory: Lost and Recovered Heritage” from the 25 June to 4 July 2017, in Warsaw, Krakow (Poland).

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Centre – Call for applications: World Heritage Young Professionals Forum 2017

New Paper: Bioarchaeology of Care in the Metal Period, Philippines

Vlok et al on a case of disability care in Metal Age Philippines

10.1002/oa.2588

Abstract

A case of disability in the Metal Period of the Philippines, likely requiring healthcare from others, is presented to explore aspects of group dynamics in this period of antiquity. B243, a middle-aged male excavated from the Napa site in the central Philippines, suffered severe trauma to the right leg resulting in considerable restrictions to mobility and self-maintenance of survival related behaviours such as food provision and hygiene. It is likely that B243 required assistance from others to survive for some period of time prior to eventual death. The bioarchaeology of care method was applied to assess the types of healthcare that B243 likely required, and to consider potential social and biological impacts to both B243 and his community. Provision of healthcare practice in this case suggests that B243’s community had access to health-related resources, knowledge on the treatment of his injuries and underlying values in the group for sustaining human life in the case of injury and disability.

Source: A New Application of the Bioarchaeology of Care Approach: A Case Study from the Metal Period, Philippines – Vlok – 2017 – International Journal of Osteoarchaeology – Wiley Online Library

Yamashita’s gold as a modern take on an old tale

A new paper in the Journal of Folklore Research argues that the legend of Yamashita’s gold, a source of many a treasure-hunting expedition in the Philippines – is a modern iteration of a post-colonial longing for hope and prosperity.

Excavating a Hidden Bell Story from the Philippines: A Revised Narrative of Cultural-Linguistic Loss and Recuperation
Journal of Folklore Research
Vol. 53, No. 2 (May/August 2016), pp. 86-113

Yamashita’s gold has been found and it’s not what you think
Rappler, 07 August 2016

The hunt for war treasure in the Philippines has hidden meanings
Science Daily, 10 August 2016

Stories of hidden valuable artifacts are told in many parts of the Philippines. One such tale is of a church bell, concealed to prevent theft but now beyond reach (Motif V115.1.3, Sunken church bell cannot be raised). Typically, these stories are transmitted orally. However the small Eskaya community of southeast Bohol maintains a written version of a lost-bell tale included in a larger intergenerational archive of hand-copied literature. Since the early 1980s, the Eskaya have been an object of media interest for having consciously created their own “indigenous” language, writing system, and literary tradition. This paper examines the meanings of the Eskaya variant of the lostbell story in the context of community aspirations for recognition as an indigenous minority. In the Eskaya version, pre-Hispanic native faith is valorized over the corrupted Christianity introduced by Spain. The deliberately concealed church bell and its promised future retrieval recapitulates wider postcolonial narratives of cultural-linguistic suppression and revitalization, underscoring the agency of Eskaya people in their retrieval (or reinvention) of a pre-colonial indigenous identity.

Paper here.