Archaeology in a war zone

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Last month, a hoard of rare potsherds that were looted from an archaeological site in Mindanao, Philippines, was intercepted by law enforcement officials. While it is fortunate that the artefacts were recovered, the damage has already been done in the loss of valuable contextual data. Furthermore, the ongoing war between the Philippine military and seccessionist groups in the region are threatening to further destroy any archaeological potential found in Mindanao, by inadvertently destroying sites or facilitating looting to fund further conflicts.

Maitum jars: the other casualty of the war in Mindanao
05 November 2008, Minda News
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Mindanao caves need further study and money

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The National Museum of Philippines has submitted an additional proposal for the study and protection of the recently discovered Sagel Cave. There’s much more work needed to be done on the cave and surrounding areas, but it looks like budgetary constraints will hamper much of the work – a common occurrence for archaeology in Southeast Asia and around the world.

National Museum to send proposed budget for more studies of Sagel Cave
Minda News, 28 April 2008
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Mindanao cave site update

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More updates from the Philippine National Museum team who travelled to Mindanao (Southern Philippines) last week to investigate a new cave site containing prehistoric finds. The site, designated Sagel Cave, has since been declared an archaeological site.

National Museum team hopes to find untouched artifacts
Minda News, 16 April 2008

Maitum declares new cave an archaeological site; NM team digs 2 test pits
Minda News, 19 April 2008

National Museum confirms Sagel Cave a prehistoric burial ground
Minda News, 20 April 2008

More prehistoric artifacts found in Sarangani cave
GMA News, 20 April 2008
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