Museo del Galeon to relive romance of the high seas

via Philippine Inquirer, 04 September 2017: The soft opening of the new Museo del Galeon in Manila, dedicated to the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade.

Former Senate president Edgardo J. Angara had called it an “executive preview” while the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had termed it “a soft-opening,” but there was no doubt the whole affair sought to relive the romance of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade that historians now admit pioneered global inter-ocean trade as we know it now. […]

Source: Museo del Galeon to relive romance of the high seas | Inquirer lifestyle

1,500-yr-old artifacts found in Camarines Sur, Philippines

via Philippine Inquirer, 18 August 2018: Evidence for a pre-Hispanic settlement found in central-eastern Philippines, dating 1,500 years.

Shards of burial jars found in an ancient graveyard in this town are about 1,500 years old, according to a team of archaeologists.

Source: 1,500-yr-old artifacts found in CamSur | Inquirer News

The Life, Death, and Resurgence of Baybayin

via Esquire Philippines, 11 August 2018: A feature on the ancient written script of the Philippines, which went almost extinct after the arrival of the Spanish.

The influence of this ancient language can be seen in how Filipinos write today.

Source: The Life, Death, and Resurgence of Baybayin | Esquire Ph

UP study offers clues to ancient biodiversity, early human movement in Southeast Asia

via UP Press Office, 18 July 2017:

The prehistoric shell tools uncovered in Mindoro by the team of archaeologists, geologists, ecologists, geneticists and social scientists from the University of the Philippines could point to the start of a transition from hunting/gathering to the agricultural or semi-agricultural subsistence strategies of our ancestors.

Since 2012, the team has been working on an ambitious multiyear project funded by the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research Program to answer questions about ancient biodiversity and early human movement in Island Southeast Asia.

Using Mindoro as the site of study, they hoped to find not only further clues to how early humans arrived in the Philippine islands and how landscape formation, sea levels and landmass affected their movement but also indications of how such movement changed fauna and flora.

Source: UP study offers clues to ancient biodiversity, early human movement in Southeast Asia

Intramuros monuments among Philippines new National Cultural Treasures

via Philippine Inquirer, 17 July 2017: The National Museum of the Philippines has declared a number of properties as National Cultural Treasures. The list includes buildings in Intramuros, Vigan, and museum buildings in Manila.

Intramuros monuments, Vigan bridge, Silang church, Pagsanjan arch declared National Cultural Treasures

Source: Intramuros monuments, Vigan bridge, Silang church, Pagsanjan arch declared National Cultural Treasures | Inquirer lifestyle

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