A new book published in the Philippines discusses the prehispanic history of Ilocos Sur, a region on the western part of Luzon island of the Philippines.
Unearthing the golden days of Ilocos Sur
Rappler, 05 July 2015
The Ilocos Sur Archaeology Project or ISAP was deemed to be the first concrete step employing systematic regional archaeology towards understanding the pre-Spanish contact Ilocos settlements. The sustained archaeological surveys and excavations of 2011 and 2012 were undertaken with the objective of trying to understand the role of this Northwesterly flank of Luzon Island in an intricate overseas maritime trade network. A basic research objective was the documentation of archaeological sites in the province of Ilocos Sur. So far, the municipalities of Santa, Caoayan, San Juan, Cabugao, Sinait, Quirino, Alilem, Sugpon and the City of Vigan have been visited as part of the project. The Ilocos Sur Archaeology Project or ISAP was supported by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur (PGIS) in partnership with the University of the Philippines Archaeological Studies Program (UP-ASP) and the National Museum (NM).
The book “Mountains and Sea: case studies in coastal, riverine, and upland archaeology of Ilocos Sur” published by UST Publishing House (2015) presents the analysis of archaeological data unearthed through the Ilocos Sur Archaeology Project. The book suggests a “golden” (literally) role of Ilocos and the whole flank of Northwestern Luzon in the Indian Ocean World trading system writ- large. It is important to state that the Philippine archipelago is part of the fabled Subvarnadhipa or Islands of God which includes parts of present-day Philippines and Indonesian archipelagos. Bulked gold from lode mines in the Cordilleras and panning sites along the Abra river drainage basin was brought to Ilocos to be shipped overseas.
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