Prehistoric Migration and Cultural Change in the Philippine Archipelago

  • Eusebio Z. DizonEmail author
Part of the The Archaeology of Asia-Pacific Navigation book series (AAPN, volume 1)


Perhaps the earliest migration and cultural change in the Philippine archipelago happened between 4500 and 4000 years ago, during the Neolithic Age. The initial crossing from the mainland was probably Austronesian speakers from southern Taiwan who traveled to Batanes and northern Luzon in the Philippines. After this first step, boat building technology developed and sea voyaging became more convenient, allowing these early settlers to return to where they came from and also continue to explore and colonize other distant islands of the Philippine archipelago such as Palawan, the Visayas and Mindanao. One of the leading signs of cultural change in the Neolithic Period, or the New Stone Age, is the shift in lithic or stone tool technology from the crude flaking technique to the grinding technique. In particular, the manufacture of ground adzes and axes becomes evident in the archaeological record from this period, while settlements began to relocate from cave to open sites. Whereas hunting and gathering characterized the lives of local inhabitants during the Palaeolithic, or Old Stone Age, the New Stone Age was a time of increasingly sedentary populations whose livelihoods were based on the domestication of animals and the cultivation of plants. Pottery emerged about 3,000 years ago and continued to develop into the Metal Age.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Museum of the PhilippinesManilaPhilippines

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