Pre-Historic Eras and Theories on Philippine Human History Essay

Enzo Tan 1-D 26 Paleolithic Era: * Greek in origin: * Palaios: old * Lithos: stone * Literal translation: Old Age Of The Stone * 2. 6 m. y. a until 10,000 Before Present * (In which Present is Jan. 1, 1950) * Distinguished by the primary use of stone as tools for hunting, and building. * Men also used bone and wood as material for tools. * Men hunted in small groups or bands. * A rich source of Paleolithic artifacts is the Euphrates river. * Regarding human evolution, this era was home to the Australopithecines until the Homo Sapiens Sapiens Mesolithic Era: Greek in origin: * Mesos: middle * Lithos: stone * Literal translation: Middle Stone Age * Around 9000 BCE until 6000 BCE. * A short period of time shortly after the last Ice Age, until the development of agriculture * Men were nomadic hunter-gatherers. * They hunted most megafauna into extinction. * Used more advanced weapons like bows and spears. * They began to gather plants from the ground, and plant the seeds, beginning the agricultural revolution. Neolithic Era: * Greek in origin: * Neos: new Lithos: stone * Literal translation: New Stone Age * Was the last stone age. * Start of the agricultural revolution, along with the domestication of animals. * Men began to settle in shelters due to their reliance on cultivation of crops. * The technology is now much more advanced, with new tools for different jobs such as harvesting of crops (sickles and grounding stones), and food production. (Pottery) * Clothing came from animal pelt, fastened by bone and antler pins, which were ideal for fastening leather.

Island Origin Theory Wilhelm Solheim’s concept of the Nusantao Maritime Trading and Communication Network (NMTCN), while not strictly a theory regarding the biological ancestors of modern Southeast Asians, does suggest that the patterns of cultural diffusion throughout the Asia-Pacific region are not what would be expected if such cultures were to be explained by simple migration. Where Bellwood based his analysis primarily on linguistic analysis, Solheim’s approach was based on artifact findings.

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On the basis of a careful analysis of artifacts, he suggests the existence of a trade and communication network that first spread in the Asia-Pacific region during its Neolithic age (c. 8,000 to 500 BC). According to Solheim’s NMTCN theory, this trade network, consisting of both Austronesian and non-Austronesian seafaring peoples, was responsible for the spread of cultural patterns throughout the Asia-Pacific region, not the simple migration proposed by the Out-of-Taiwan hypothesis.

Solheim 2006 Solheim came up with four geographical divisions delineating the spread of the NMTCN over time, calling these geographical divisions “lobes. ” Specifically, these were the central, northern, eastern and western lobes. Local Origins Theory Another alternative model is that asserted by anthropologist F. Landa Jocano of the University of the Philippines, who in 2001 contended that the existing fossil evidence of ancient humans demonstrates that they not only migrated to the Philippines, but also to New Guinea, Borneo, and Australia.

In reference to Beyer’s wave model, he points out that there is no definitive way to determine the “race” of the human fossils; the only certain thing is that the discovery of Tabon Man proves that the Philippines was inhabited as early as 21,000 or 22,000 years ago. If this is true, the first inhabitants of the Philippines would not have come from the Malay Peninsula. Instead, Jocano postulates that the present Filipinos are products of the long process of evolution and movement of people. He also adds that this is also true of Indonesians and Malaysians, with none among the three peoples being the dominant carrier of culture.

In fact, he suggests that the ancient humans who populated Southeast Asia cannot be categorized under any of these three groups. He thus further suggests that it is not correct to consider Filipino culture as being Malayan in orientation. Austronesian Diffusion Theory The popular contemporary alternative to Beyer’s model is Peter Bellwood’s Out-of-Taiwan (OOT) hypothesis, which is based largely on linguistics, hewing very close to Robert Blust’s model of the history of the Austronesian language family, and supplementing it with archeological data.

This model suggests that Between 4500 BCE and 4000 BCE, developments in agricultural technology in the Yunnan Plateau in China created pressures which drove certain peoples to migrate to Taiwan. These people either already had or began to develop a unique language of their own, now referred to as Proto-Austronesian. By around 3000 BCE, these groups started differentiating into three or four distinct subcultures, and by 2500 to 1500 BC, one of these groups began migrating southwards towards the Philippines and Indonesia, reaching as far as Borneo and the Moluccas by 1500 BCE, forming new cultural groupings and developing unique languages.

By 1500 BC, some of these groups started migrating west, reaching as far as Madagascar around the first millennium CE. Others migrated east, settling as far as Easter Island by the mid-13th century CE, giving the Austronesian language group the distinction of being the most widely distributed language groups in the world at that time, in terms of the geographical span of the homelands of its languages. According to this theory, the peoples of the Philippines are the descendants of those cultures who remained on the Philippine islands when others moved first southwards, then eastward and westward.