"STOP GUADALUPE & BANAWA-INGLIS FROM LANDGRABBING LABANGON SITIOS!"




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Saturday, November 17, 2007
Boljoon, Cebu dig (part 1)

From USC:

A team from the University of San Carlos and the National Museum has uncovered 13 burials a few meters from the fašade of the old Boljoon Church (built in 1783) in a month-long archaeological excavation to trace evidences of a pre-Spanish settlement there. The team, led by Jose Eleazar R. Bersales, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology (SoAn), began excavations at the site in February this year and uncovered two burials, one accompanied by a datable Chinese ceramic dish tentatively dated to around the 15th -16th century A.D.

The current round began on May 29 with five 2 x 2 meter squares which were later expanded as more burials were exposed in four of the units. Amalia dela Torre, a member of the Archaeology Division of the National Museum (NM), has been leading the team from NM during the two excavation seasons and has supervised the recovery of the burials for further analysis. Carla Escabi, an incoming doctoral student at Texas A&M University and Bonn Aure, member of the SoAn faculty trained in osteology, conducted initial skeletal analysis on the bones in situ.

According to Escabi and Aure, at least four of the burials appear to be female while the rest are male. Most have filed teeth and at least one has an artificially deformed skull at the occipital lobe. Some may have suffered during their lifetimes due to extremely bad teeth resulting from a diet of carbohydrates, probably cassava and yam. One other burial was interred sideways on his right side, which appears to be the first burial in that position ever uncovered in a systematic excavation in the country.

Other than the burials are some 1,000 artifacts including two iron bolos, plain and decorated earthenware pottery sherds, a 2.2-meter long necklace and a worked shell pendant that were also recovered and accessioned. Ecofacts recovered include marine shells and animal bones, many of them showing cut and chop marks. At least one post hole, indicative of a structure over the burial, has also been uncovered.

The excavations form part of a project to apply Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology in archaeology for the first time in the Philippines and is being carried out by SoAn together with Van-Larenstein University (Holland) and Geoplan Foundation Inc. Like the first phase in February 2007, the excavations were funded by the Office of Research with logistical support of the University Museum through curator Marlene Socorro Samson who personally drove to the site, stayed with the team for days and helped bring the artifacts and ecofacts to USC.

The excavations were undertaken with the approval of Fr. Sofronio dela Pe˝a, parish priest of Boljoon and the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, headed by Fr. Carlito Pono. Mayor Deogenes Derama and the local government unit of Boljoon also provided important on-site logistical support, as did the Cebu Governor's Office through its Committe on Sites, Relics and Structures as well as the Boljoon Heritage Foundation Inc, headed by Atty. Edmund Villanueva, himself a Carolinian alumnus.


Posted at Saturday, November 17, 2007 by CAFFiend

 

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