The Tabon Caves is where the earliest human fossils in the Philippines are found. The remains of the Tabon Man (actually probably three men), consisting of "a skull cap, two fragments of jaw bones and some teeth", were discovered by a National Museum team led by the late Dr. Robert Fox. The Tabon Man's remains are dated at about 22,000 to 23,000 years old.

Located by the South China Sea, in the Quezon municipality of Palawan, the caves also revealed evidence of even earlier human settlement. It is estimated that the humans have made use of the cave as early as 50,000 years ago, up to as late as 10,000 years ago.

Among the artifacts excavated are stone tools from the Paleolithic era, hammers made of quartz, and fossils of prehistoric elephants and giant toroises. Also found were glass beads, jade ornaments, and pottery.

The areas around the Tabon caves are also fertile sites for archeological exploration. One of the jars found near the Tabon caves, the Manunggul jar, is an intricately designed burial jar, whose lid supports a small boat with two figures. It has been suggested that the two figures symbolize the journey to the afterlife -- one of the artifacts that suggest religious practice among the earliest Filipinos.

A page for Philippine prehistory
The Tabon Caves of Palawan

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.