Archaeological Explorations and Excavations on Palawan Island (1970)


by Robert B. Fox


This report briefly summarizes the results of the excavations by the staff of the National Museum from 1962 through 1966 in a number of limestone caves - now known as the Tabon Caves - located on the isolated southwest coast of Palawan Island, Republic of the Philippines.


This report also seeks to provide preliminary chronology for the time and cultural sequences encountered during the Palawan excavations. This chronology is supported by thirteen radiocarbon (C-14) dates of major interest to Philippine and Southeast Asian prehistory. Based upon the preliminary analyses , four broad cultural "Ages" have been established and used in the descriptions of the sequences: the Palaeolithic Age; the Neolithic Age with "Early" and "Late" periods and phases; the Metal Age with "Early" and "Developed periods and phases; and the Age of the Contacts and Trade with the East. The larger objective of the archaeological research in Palawan was to establish an exhaustive cultural chronology for this area which could provide the basis for a more thorough understanding of the long and dramatic prehistory of the Philippines.


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