Friday, August 19, 2011

Notes on underwater achaeological finds in Gasan

View of Gasan. Celebrating its 402nd Founding Anniversary.

Notes on archeological finds in Marinduque:

The beginnings of Philippine archaeology actually began in the island of Marinduque. when the French explorer Alfred Marche came to Marinduque for that purpose, attracted by the island's relative fame in the 19th century as the 'Isle of Grottos', island of caves.

Marinduque archaeological exploration projects were undertaken at the following sites and dates: Bathala Cave, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque: Sept. 9 – Oct. 12, 1983; Pingan, Gasan: April – June 1982 and explored again a couple of years later.

Alongside the National Museum, the cooperating institution was Marine Archaeology Unlimited, Inc. (MAUI). The project was undertaken to establish a systematic and scientific documentation, recording, retrieval, analysis, clearing and chemical treatment of artifacts gathered from the work sites, and to find out the ancient trade routes undertaken by the sunken vessels and trace its relation to our historical background, tracing the origin of the sunken vessels in the process.

A total of 1,186 pieces of artifacts from the wreck site were retrieved during the project. The 1982 project involved National Museum personnel Eduardo Conete, Antonio Malones and Alexander Villaneva. The goals were to locate a documentary recorded wreck of specific importance, to gain an over-all impression of the underwater archaeological potential of Marinduque island.

Also, to study the possible ancient trade routes taken by the cargo vessel. Recovered artifacts were 170 stoneware jars and jar covers, porcelain bowls in various sizes, jarlets, saucers, ballast stone, restorable artifacts (78), shards and fragments (679 pcs.). All of these specimens were deposited at the Chemistry & Conservation Lab of the National Museum for analysis and preservation and is now at the underwater archaeology storage room of the NM.

Conference on Marinduque speakers with now Cong. Allan Velasco

These pieces of information were conveyed by Conete to participants of the first Marinduque Historical Conference conducted in Mogpog in February 2008, and organized by this blogger in connection with "Araw ng Marinduque" celebration.