Diorama 3: Palawan Burial Caves, circa 5000 to 500 BC

Ayala Museum Staff (Historians, Researchers, Artists) and Artisans from Paete, Laguna1974 - 2011

Ayala Museum

Ayala Museum

Palawan Burial Caves, circa 5000-500 BC. The complex of burial caves in Lipuun Point, Palawan has been dated later in age than the Paleolithic Tabon Cave. The earliest depositions were made after the sead had reached its present level at the end of the Ice Age. This period marked changes in climate and the environment. The rising sea inundated millions of acres of land heretofore used by countless populations in the Asian coastal areas, the continental shelves, and islands. This created pressure on the populations, forcing them to move largely eastward into the Pacific. These movements included the coming of Austronesian-speaking peoples into the Philippines by means of boats; these bringing in a different subsistence technology and a new culture which made man more human. The caves in Lipuun Point were used by the early peoples as frequentation stations or habitations of different degrees of permanence. Some were used as interment places for the dead, either for primary or secondary burials. Elsewhere in northeastern Luzon, the earliest forms of architecture were already being made. High up in Lipuun Point is the two-chambered Manunggul Cave. The first chamber contained a Late Neolithic assemblage dating to between 890 and 710 BC. One of the most beautiful secondary burial jars of the Philippines was found here. Now considered a national cultural treasure, the Manunggul Jar is decorated with running scrolls painted with red hematite within incised lines. The cover is similarly decorated and has an unusual crest in the form of a boat with an ornate prow. Riding the boat are two figures, one with arms crossed, while the other holds a missing oar. In the middle of the bottom of the boat is an empty socket that must have held a now missing mast. It was a boat of the dead traveling to the other world, navigated by a boatman through a sea filled with red hematite waves.

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  • Title: Diorama 3: Palawan Burial Caves, circa 5000 to 500 BC
  • Date Created: 1974 - 2011
  • Physical Dimensions: h698.5 cm (Complete)
  • Type: Diorama
  • Rights: Ayala Museum, Ayala Museum
  • External Link: www.ayalamuseum.com
  • Provenance: Purchase (Commissioned work): Complete
  • Medium: Mixed media installation (Diorama): Complete
  • Creators: Ayala Museum Staff (Historians, Researchers, Artists) and Artisans from Paete, Laguna