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16 July 2016
Prehistory of Palawan island explored

Since 2004, archaeologists from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) have been systematically excavation and processing human remains from Palawan Island. These remains have showed a heavy diversity in burial and other cultural practices over the past 10,000 years. The cave is located in the Northern Palawan Province and contains skeletons ranging in date from late Palaeolithic (9,000 BP) to the Neolithic and Metal periods, ca. 4,000 and 1,000 BP respectively, and even the late millennium.
     Humans from the latest period of the cave are buried as whole bodies, on their backs and directed towards the cave opening. Meanwhile the Metal Periods show a more dispersed burial, though this could be due to disturbance from other burials or re-burying done in later stages. Two bodies from the Neolithic Period were buried in a completely different manner, being covered by large rocks. The bodies of the Palaeolithic Period showed a completely different burial practice, the bodies being cremated and
then deposited as piles of bone fragments.
     Dr. Victor J. Paz, leader of the project and part of the Archaeological Studies Program at UPD, states that the aim of the project is further study of the human remains, including age-at-death, sex, disease, and other cultural modifications: "Describing these variables will help us understand the diversity of mortuary practices". The team will also provide data for comparing finds from other archaeological sites in South-East Asia.

Edited from PhysOrg (21 June 2016)

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