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Archaeological evidence of woody vines at Bubog 2, Ilin Island, Mindoro, Philippines


Ethnographic and historical records in the Philippines document the use of vines for cordage, mats, baskets, hats, medicine, and furniture. Similar usage has been assumed in the more distant past (i.e., neolithic); however, no material evidence has so far been found probably owing to unfavorable conditions inhibiting preservation of this particular organic material. This paper reports the presence of dried and mineralized fragments of woody vines from the archeological site of Bubog 2 in Ilin Island, Mindoro, Philippines. Identified as coming from the families Annonaceae, Dilleniaceae, and Mimosaceae, this occurrence provides the first archaeobotanical evidence in the Philippines of woody vines in layers dated from 5000 BCE to 1000 CE.

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Acknowledgement goes to Mr. Fernando C. Pitargue, Jr., chief of the Anatomy & Forest Botany Section at the Forest Products Research & Development Institute (FPRDI). We would also like to express our appreciation to Messrs. Jerry, Apolinario, and Cris Leydo as well as Messrs. Ben, Arturo, and Rey Deyta of Sitio Bubog, for all their assistance in the excavation and flotation.


This research was funded by an Outright Research Grant by the University of the Philippines Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development (UP OVCRD) Project No. 12-1219 PNSE. Dr. Armand Mijares and Dr. Phil Piper also supported this research through the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research Grant of the University of the Philippines, OVPAA code no. 2-002-1111212, which funded the fieldwork in Ilin Island.

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Archaeobotany: JBC and VJP

Preparation of manuscript: JBC, VJP, and RPE

Vine taxonomy and systematics: RPE, JMC, JBC, and MDR

Site Director: AFP.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jane B. Carlos.

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Carlos, J.B., Paz, V.J., Escobin, R.P. et al. Archaeological evidence of woody vines at Bubog 2, Ilin Island, Mindoro, Philippines. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 11, 1131–1141 (2019).

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