Accepted paper:

Palaeoenvironment, biodiversity & archaeology: excavations on Ilin island, Philippines


Alfred Pawlik
Philip Piper (Australian National University)
Kristine Kate Lim (University of the Philippines)
Thomas Ingicco (MNHN)
Julie Arnaud (University of Ferrara)
Marta Arzarello (Università di FErrara)

Paper short abstract:

This research focuses on Mindoro as a potential stepping stone for early human migration into the isolated islands of the main Philippine Archipelago. This poster presents the results and current state of research on the excavations of Bubog 1 and 2 rockshelters on Ilin Island, Mindoro Occidental

Paper long abstract:

The recently discovered human remains from Callao Cave, northern Luzon, Philippines securely date the migration of hominins into the Philippines to ca. 70,000 years ago. The direct route to reach Luzon from the Asian mainland is via Palawan and through Mindoro. Our project searches for evidence for early human occupation in Mindoro and connections between the two biogeographic regions of Sundaland and the Wallacean islands of the Philippines. Mindoro acted hereby as a potential stepping stone into the main Philippine Archipelago. While Palawan and Luzon have already produced evidence for early human occupation, no systematic research on Mindoro's prehistory has been conducted until very recently. We report on archaeological investigations at the Bubog rockshelter sites on the island of Ilin just off the coast of SW-Mindoro. The excavations produced evidence of stratified sequences of human habitation at the sites in the form of dense shell middens that date to 11kya onwards. They provide direct evidence on how variability in landscape formation, sealevels, and landmass during the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene influenced the behaviour of human populations. Numerous mollusc species were recorded, together with remains of marine and terrestrial vertebrate faunas. Provisional results indicate variations in the invertebrate faunas throughout the stratigraphy, resulting from sealevel rise and establishment of coral reefs between Ilin and Mindoro at the end of the Pleistocene. Our results contribute substantially to our understanding of human island adaptation, complement research into Island Southeast Asia's paleogeography, and enhance current knowledge of prehistoric subsistence strategies across the region.

panel P34
Poster session