Unique tombs found in 1,000-year-old Philippine village
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Archaeologists have unearthed remnants of what they believe is a 1,000-year-old village on a jungle-covered mountaintop in the Philippines with limestone coffins of a type never before found in this South-east Asian nation, officials said on Thursday.
National Museum official Eusebio Dizon said the village on Mount Kamhantik, near Mulanay town in Quezon province, could be at least 1,000 years old based on United States (US) carbon dating tests done on a human tooth found in one of 15 limestone graves he and other archaeologists have dug out since last year.
The discovery of the rectangular tombs, which were carved into limestone outcrops jutting from the forest ground, is important because it is the first indication that Filipinos at that time practiced a more advanced burial ritual than previously thought and that they used metal tools to carve the coffins.
Past archaeological discoveries have shown Filipinos of that era used wooden coffins in the country's mountainous north and earthen coffins and jars elsewhere, according to Mr Dizon, who has done extensive archaeological work in the Philippines and several other countries over the past 35 years.