Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Archaeologists discover an estimated 700,000 year old settlement in the Philippines



Evidence of ancient humans in the Philippines has scientists wondering how they got there. ISTOCK.COM/DANILOVI
Along side butchered rhino bones and some dozen stone tools lies the mystery of what kind of humans lived in Luzon some 600,000 years ago. After a recent discovery by archaeologists in the Philippines, specifically in the island of Luzon, the outcome baffles these scientists since another mystery comes with their identity, how did these ancient humans crossed the deep seas?

Archaeologist of Griffith University in Nathan, Australia, Adam Brumm, said that this was indeed an exhilarating discovery and added that,

“The only thing missing is the hominin fossil to go along with it.”

Through multiple scientific testing and analysis the team received recognition since they’ve dated the top and bottom sediment layer and the rhino tooth sample being 701,000, 727,000, 709,000 years old respectively. An archaeological dating expert at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, Alistair Pike praised the team stating,

“They’ve nailed it!”

The Identity of these Luzon Dwellers
There were two intellectual guesses on the identity of these dwellers. The first assumption being that they could’ve been the Homo erectus that has been found in China and Java. So it isn’t impossible for it to travel to the Philippines since the country is within close proximity as the sources of origin of the H. erectus.

The second guess would be contradictory to the first based on the discovery of the Homo florensiensis. A species of humans that defied all logic since they were hobbit-like in character and are only found in one island in Indonesia. And paleoarchaelogist of the National Museum of Natural History Paris, Thomas Ingicco used the existence of the H. florensiensis as trigger to the possibility of having a rather undiscovered species instead that is specialized only in the island of Luzon. Ingicco stated that,

“In theory you could have something special on every single island.” 

How it they arrived in Luzon?
This question is only applicable given that the first assumption is the truth that the ancient human dwellings of Luzon were made from washed-up H. erectus.

A paleoanthropologist at New York University named Susan Antón might have an answer to that. Antón believes that the H. erectus are a rather crafty species,

“I’ve been studying H. erectus for a long time, and I think they are pretty clever.”

Despite recent studies opened the possibility that early humans from the Stone Age were capable of sailing the Mediterranean Sea, Antón believes that these humans were most likely washed-up to the shores of Luzon, brought by Tsunami’s or floating debris from storms.

“The presumption has been that Homo erectus didn’t, at least purposefully, disperse over water. But the more places you find that happening, then … the more likely it becomes that they had some kind of control over it. But that kind of a conclusion is way off in the distance,” she said.

Source: sciencemag.org