New find may rewrite history of earliest humans in the Philippines
A new archaeological discovery suggests humans were in the Philippines much earlier than previously thought.
KALINGA, PHILIPPINES — Humans weren't believed to be in the Philippines until 60,000 years ago, but new findings suggest they were there much much earlier.
According to a study published in Nature, excavations in the Northern Philippine province of Kalinga have uncovered 57 stone tools and more than 400 animal bones from monitor lizards, deer, turtles, and the now-extinct stegodon.
Researchers also found the mostly intact skeleton of an ancient rhino species. 13 of its bones displayed cut marks, indicating it had been butchered for food.
CNN reports that the remains were dated to 709,000 years ago. Before this, the earliest indicator of human activity in the country was a 67,000-year-old foot bone uncovered at Callao Cave.
The ancients who hunted the rhino were likely an archaic human species called homo erectus that may have arrived from China via Taiwan, or from Borneo via Palawan.
Without solid evidence, however, researchers say the hobbit-like homo floresiensis from nearby Flores island may also be a suspect.
They plan to continue excavating to hopefully find their culprit, and maybe even unlock more ancient human mysteries.
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