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Notes Chapter 2: Sources for the Study of Prehispanic Philippine Chiefdoms 1. There are no standardized phase terms used consistently by archaeologists in talking about periods of Philippine prehistoric and prehispanic history. Eusebio Dizon, in his monograph on Philippine iron metallurgy (1983), provides the most cogent discussion of varying chronological schemes. The reader is refered to Dizon’s excellent treatment of chronological issues for more details about cultural evolutionary models. Early archaeologists adapted European terms (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Metal Age, and Recent or Porcelain Period) to refer to major stages in Philippine prehistory (Beyer 1948; Beyer and de Veyra 1947; Evangelista 1962; R. Fox 1959, 1970; Solheim 1964). The “Paleolithic” was approximately dated from 40,000 to 10,000 b.c. (with early pre–Homo sapien sapien sites not yet confirmed), the “Mesolithic” from 10,000 to 3000 or 4000 b.c., and the “Neolithic” from approximately 3000 or 4000 b.c. to 500 b.c. (frequently divided into “Early,” pre–1500 b.c., and “Late” phases). The “Metal Age” was dated from around 500 b.c. to a.d. 1000 (initially divided into “Bronze Age” and “Iron Age,” but later it was determined that the appearance of bronze and iron in the Philippines is approximately contemporaneous ), followed by the “Protohistoric Period” (sometimes divided into “Early Porcelain Period,” referring to Sung to early Ming period sites, and “Late Porcelain Period,” referring to late Ming period sites). F. Landa Jocano (1967) and Wilhelm Solheim (1982) rightly pointed out the problems of using European-based archaeological phases to describe Philippine cultural sequences, particularly the dangers of equating technological features (e.g., pottery, groundstone tools, iron) with pan-archipelago stages of “cultural” evolution (e.g., the idea that all chipped stone tools are associated with “Paleolithic” hunter-gatherers and that a site lacking iron must necessarily date before the “invention” of iron metallurgy). Hutterer (1974, 1976) added that this traditional approach failed to recognize the heterogeneous social and cultural contexts in which human activities occur and archaeological sites are created. Jocano and Solheim suggested a phase terminology to replace this traditional model that is focused more on social developments than on technological change. Jocano’s (1967) cultural evolutionary phases for the Philippine archipelago include (1) the Germinal Period (to 10,000 b.c.), (2) the Formative Period (10,000–500 b.c.), (3) the Incipient Period (500 b.c.– a.d . 1000), and (4) the Emergent Period (a.d. 1000–European contact). Solheim (1982) uses slightly different terminology and phase boundaries: (1) the Archaic Period (?– 5000 b.c.), (2) the Incipient Period (5000–1000 b.c.), (3) the Formative Period (1000 b.c.– a.d. 500), and (4) the Established Filipino Period (a.d. 500–1521). While avoiding European terms and deemphasizing specific material correlates, these new cul- 388 Notes to Page 35 tural phase models retain the idea of uniform cultural development for the archipelago (Dizon 1983). All generalized cultural evolutionary phase models mask significant differences in the evolutionary trajectories of local societies. This problem is particularly acute in the Philippines, and in Southeast Asia in general, where societies of widely varying sociopolitical complexity and economic orientations existed contemporaneously (Hutterer 1974, 1976), and short-term changes (i.e., “political cycling” in complex societies; short-term adaptations to ecological, historical, and cultural factors by hunter-gatherers) are often difficult to sort out from long-term evolutionary trends (see discussion in Chapter 4). For this reason, I favor the development of local archaeological sequences reflecting the unique and complex patterns of cultural change in a particular region, which then can be compared to archaeologically recorded patterns of change elsewhere. I cannot avoid general phase terms altogether, since few regional cultural sequences have been established for the Philippines and I need some general frame of reference for dialogue with other archaeologists working on roughly contemporaneous sites. I have chosen here to retain the traditional general phase terms “Metal Age,” “Early Porcelain Period,” and “Late Porcelain Period” rather than Jocano’s and Solheim’s newer terminology for several reasons. One is that my focus on the development of maritime trading complex societies means that most of the prehistoric phases are not discussed in the present work. Since this is not a general book on Philippine prehistory , I leave it to others to debate the merits of various cultural phase schemes. A second reason is that the traditional terms such as “Metal Age” are more widely recognized by contemporary Philippine archaeologists and archaeologists working elsewhere in Southeast...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780824864064
Related ISBN
9780824820350
MARC Record
OCLC
45843033
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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