Tabon Man in Tabon Cave

Quezon, Palawan

Tabon Man refers to remains discovered in the Tabon Caves in Lipuun Point in Quezon, Palawan in the Philippines on May 28, 1962 by Dr. Robert B. Fox, an American anthropologist of the National Museum of the Philippines. These remains, the fossilized fragments of a skull and jawbone of three individuals, were believed to be the earliest human remains known in the Philippines until a metatarsal from ...

"Callao Man" discovered in 2007 was dated in 2010 by uranium-series dating as being 67,000 years old.

The Tabon fragments are collectively called "Tabon Man" after Tabon Cave, the place where they were found on the west coast of Palawan. Tabon Cave appears to be a kind of Stone Age factory, with both finished stone flake tools and waste core flakes having been found at four separate levels in the main chamber. Charcoal left from three assemblages of cooking fires there has been Carbon-14 dated to roughly 7,000, 20,000, and 22,000 BCE.

The Tabon Man fossils are considered to have come from a third group of inhabitants, who worked the cave between 22,000 and 20,000 BCE. An earlier cave level lies so far below the level containing cooking fire assemblages that it must represent Upper Pleistocene dates like 45 or 50 thousand years ago Anthropologist Robert Fox, who directed the excavations, deduced that the Tabon Cave was a habitation of man for a period of 40,000 years, from 50,000 to 9,000 years ago.

Physical anthropologists who have examined the Tabon Man skullcap are agreed that it belonged to modern man, Homo sapiens, as distinguished from the mid-Pleistocene Homo erectus species. This indicates that Tabon Man was pre-Mongoloid (Mongoloid being the term anthropologists apply to the racial stock which entered Southeast Asia during the Holocene and absorbed earlier peoples to produce the modern Malay, Indonesian, Filipino, and "Pacific" peoples).

Two experts have given the opinion that the mandible is "Australian" in physical type, and that the skullcap measurements are most nearly like the Ainus or Tasmanians. Nothing can be concluded about Tabon Man's physical appearance from the recovered skull fragments except that he was not a Negrito.

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