Accepted paper:

Mobility of early islanders in the Philippines during the terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene boundary: PXRF-Analysis of obsidian artefacts


Leee Anthony Neri (University of the Philippines)
Alfred Pawlik

Paper short abstract:


Paper long abstract:

The recent discovery of human remains from Callao Cave, northern Luzon, Philippines dates the migration of hominins into the Philippines to at least c. 70 ka BP. The most direct route to reach Luzon from the Asian mainland is via Borneo, Palawan, through Mindoro and into Luzon. While Palawan and Luzon have already produced early evidence for human occupation, no systematic research on the prehistory of Mindoro had been conducted until very recently. This paper will present the obsidian materials that were recovered from the ongoing archaeological investigations at the Bubog 1 rockshelter on Ilin Island just off the coast of SW-Mindoro and Ille Cave in El Nido, Northern Palawan. In both sites, obsidian artefacts were found in Terminal Pleistocene layers. Using portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (pXRF), analysis of the obsidian samples from Mindoro and Palawan shows that they were coming from the same, yet unknown source. They clearly indicate that the two distinct palaeogeographical regions were linked to each other, suggesting maritime interaction as early as ca. 12ka BP. The result of this trace-element analysis contribute substantially to our understanding of the mobility of early islanders during the Terminal Pleistocene and the processes of human island adaptation and enhance our current knowledge of subsistence strategies across the region

panel P16
Lithic technologies in Southeast Asia