TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- New research proposed that the first humans in the Philippines could be thousands of years older than previously thought.
A study published by journal Nature on Wednesday, May 2, said a butchered rhinoceros was found off Rizal town in Kalinga province, with indicators that a human used stone tools to kill the now extinct animal.
Before this discovery, scientists claimed that first inhabitants in the Philippine archipelago could be traced back 67,000 years ago, based on a single foot found in Callao Cave in Peñablanca, Cagayan.
Researchers conducted the study in a clay-rich bone bed in the hills of Rizal town.
The excavations in Kalinga province included discoveries of “57 stone tools associated with an almost-complete disarticulated skeleton of Rhinoceros philippinensis, which shows clear signs of butchery.”
The team found 75% of the bones of Rhinoceros, with signs of cut marks and areas where the said humans allegedly struck off to release its bone marrows.
Other bones discovered were believed to be that of stegodon, Philippine brown deer, freshwater turtle and monitor lizard. A stegodon is an extinct animal belonging to group of elephants.
Using an electron-spin resonance methods that were applied to tooth enamel and fluvial quartz, researchers found these bones could be dated 631,000 to 777,000 years ago
“This evidence pushes back the proven period of colonization of the Philippines by hundreds of thousands of years, and furthermore suggests that early overseas dispersal in Island South East Asia by premodern hominins took place several times during the Early and Middle Pleistocene stage,” the study said. Northernforum.net