Philippine National Museum to excavate two more balanghai boats

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The Philippine National Museum announced that they will excavate two more balanghai (balangay) boats in Butuan City. 3 out of the original 9 found were first excavated in 1986 and the oldest dates to the 4th century.

Butuuan Boat at the National Museum of the Philippines

Butuuan Boat at the National Museum of the Philippines

National Museum to dig 2 more balanghai boats in Butuan
MindaNews, 25 February 2012

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Voyage of the Balangay reaches Borneo

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The Voyage of the Balangay, a reconstruction of a Filipino watercraft that sailed the Philippine waters last year is now in its second leg of its journey – a trip through the waters of Southeast Asia. The Balangay recently called at Kota Kinabalu and is on its way to Kuching before continuing on to Singapore and Vietnam.

Retracing the sailing bravado of Filipino ancestors
Daily Express, 22 August 2010
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Mid-December archaeology linkdump

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It’s mid-December already, and I haven’t posted any news so far on account of being in Hanoi for the first couple of weeks, and then falling majorly sick after returning. So rather than trying to catch up with three week’s worth of archaeology news from Southeast Asia, here’s all of them in one brilliant link dump, sorted by date (most recent ones first) and country.

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Historic maritime expedition on ancient boat setting sail on Saturday

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Final preparations are underway for a team from the Philippines to retrace the ancient maritime routes using a modern reconstruction of an ancient boat, called the Balangay. The 15-metre boat was rebuilt by craftsmen using traditional methods (such as the choice of wood and the use of wooden dowels rather than metal nails) will be manned by a crew of nine. Setting sail from Manila, they will follow a shore-hugging route to Tawi-Tawi, on the southern end of the Philippines. If all goes well (and it is going to be a long journey lasting until at least the end of 2010), the expedition might extend west, as far as Madagascar. Good luck to the crew!

Balangays have been known to be in use as early as 1,600 years ago – I think that’s probably one of the earliest evidence for seafaring that we have material evidence for – but the technology to travel across the seas is probably much older. I won’t be surprised if ancient peoples in this region had access to that technology a couple of millennia before then. Finding such evidence will be much trickier, since wood doesn’t preserve well in this climate.

Filipinos to sail around the world aboard ancient boat
GMA News, 20 June 2009
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Wednesday Rojak #59

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This week, we step into an ancient boat (at least, a reconstruction of one), mull over small brains and tools, and figure out a contested temple’s role in politics. This and more in today’s edition of rojak!
stone tool finds
photo credit: andy_carter

    • Anton Diaz takes us inside the Balangay boat, which is due to set sail this weekend in a historic journey to retrace the ancient maritime routes through the Philippines. (Read more about it tomorrow!)
    • Why should we be surprised that the small-brained hobbits used tools? Eric Drexler shows us examples of tool use in animals with much smaller brains in Homo floresiensis, Crows, and the Baldwin Effect

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In this series of occasional rojaks (published on Wednesdays) I feature other sites in the blogosphere that are related to archaeology in Southeast Asia. Got a recommendation for the next Wednesday rojak? Email me!

Expedition to sail the Philippine seas in ancient watercraft

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A Filipino expedition is preparing to navigate the Philippine seas using an ancient reconstructed boat type called the Balanghay.  This sailing of ancient maritime routes using centuries old technology isn’t new; Thor Heyadhal did it in his Kon-tiki experiment back in 1947 when he sailed from Peru to the Tuamoti Islands in the pacific (although the consensus is that migration to South America came from the west, i.e. Asia, and not the other way around); and more recently the Lapita Voyage by two archaeologists from Durham University will attempt to trace the migration routes of the Austronesians using traditional Polynesian boats.

An ancient journey retraced
Business Mirror, 21 May 2009
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