USC, NM archaeologists find more evidence of the past in Boljoon
A team from the
The joint USC-Soan and National Museum team with some of the local laborers pose before one of the 10 expanded excavation units.
The current round began on May 29 with five 2 x 2 meter squares which were later expanded as more burials were exposed in four of the units. Amalia dela Torre, a member of the Archaeology Division of the National Museum (NM), has been leading the team from NM during the two excavation seasons and has supervised the recovery of the burials for further analysis. Carla Escabi, an incoming doctoral student at
According to Escabi and Aure, at least four of the burials appear to be female while the rest are male. Most have filed teeth and at least one has an artificially deformed skull at the occipital lobe. Some may have suffered during their lifetimes due to extremely bad teeth resulting from a diet of carbohydrates, probably cassava and yam. One other burial was interred sideways on his right side, which appears to be the first burial in that position ever uncovered in a systematic excavation in the country.
Carla Escabi and Bonn Aure conducting an in situ inventory of two of the 13 burials. Note the sideways interment of the burial at left.
Other than the burials are some 1,000 artifacts including two iron bolos, plain and decorated earthenware pottery sherds, a 2.2-meter long necklace and a worked shell pendant that were also recovered and accessioned. Ecofacts recovered include marine shells and animal bones, many of them showing cut and chop marks. At least one post hole, indicative of a structure over the burial, has also been uncovered.
The 2.2-meter long necklace awaiting conservation treatment.
The excavations form part of a project to apply Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology in archaeology for the first time in the
The excavations were undertaken with the approval of Fr. Sofronio dela Peña, parish priest of Boljoon and the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, headed by Fr. Carlito Pono. Mayor Deogenes Derama and the local government unit of Boljoon also provided important on-site logistical support, as did the Cebu Governor's Office through its Committe on Sites, Relics and Structures as well as the Boljoon Heritage Foundation Inc, headed by Atty. Edmund Villanueva, himself a Carolinian alumnus.
25 / June / 2007