Rhinoceros Bones Suggest Humans Lived in the Philippines 709,000 Years Ago, Study Discovers

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There could be humans living in the Philippines 709,000 years ago, according to a recent study made by an international team of prehistorians. This after archaeologists discovered supposed hunting activities by people who lived at that time. The National Museum of the Philippines is also set to present this discovery to the public later this month.

According to an article at online journal Nature entitled “Earliest known hominin activity in the Philippines by 709,000 years ago,” the said study was led by Dr. Thomas Ingicco from the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France, with Mr. Clyde Jago-on, Ms. Catherine King, Ms. Marian C. Reyes, and Mr. Angel Bautista from the National Museum.

Based on the report, archaeological excavations in Rizal, Kalinga have been ongoing for several years now. But in 2017, archaeologists discovered remains of an almost complete skeleton of Rhinoceros philippinensis, 57 pcs. of stone tools and a tektite – a glassy, gravel-sized body formed from terrestrial debris ejected during meteorite impacts.

The animal fossil reportedly had cutmarks and percussion marks, suggesting that it was butchered, defleshed and was subjected to bone marrow extraction. Using electron-spin resonance methods, it had been concluded that the remains are between 777 and 631 thousand years ago, and therefore there were already humans in the Philippines that time.



The photo below shows an archaeologist carefully retrieving the rib if the said Rhinoceros in Rizal, Kalinga. This recent study is believed to be far better indirect evidence of earliest human existence in the Philippines than the discovery of hominid bone fragment and ancient stone tools in Callao Cave, Cagayan some 67,000 years ago.

The study was published at Nature.com today, Thursday, May 3, and will appear in the May 10, 2018 issue of the said journal. Meanwhile, the public is being invited to attend a press briefing at the National Museum in Rizal Park, Manila on May 10, at 10:30 am. For more details, contact Mr. Erwin Sebastian at (632) 5271143 and at [email protected]

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