Investigating Social Practices, Community and Interaction in the Philippine Islands during the Metal Age

Author(s): Sandy De Leon

Year: 2015


Investigations of social interaction and notions of community among island societies of Southeast Asia during the Metal Age (500 BC-AD 800) are very limited, especially in the Philippines. This general lack of well-documented settlement, household and burial data, and underdeveloped theoretical frameworks interpreting the archaeological remains, impede our understanding of social organization in the period and fail to contextualize the appearance socially stratified and politically centralized island societies during the late prehistoric and early historic period. This paper presents a proposed multi-scalar research plan to utilize mortuary remains and examine similarities and variation in mortuary styles, pottery composition, trade goods and mortuary landscape features to investigate how Metal Age societies may have maintained ideas of community and group identity, as well as how they may have structured social relations. It presents preliminary findings of micro-regional analysis of jar burial remains from the Bacong Region of the central Philippines that will be expanded to include jar burial sites from the greater Philippine macro-region, and discusses some of the challenges of settlement archaeology. The research findings query the notion that late prehistoric island societies were necessarily simplified hierarchical and politically centralizing antecedents to the more complex societies of the Early Historic period.

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Cite this Record

Investigating Social Practices, Community and Interaction in the Philippine Islands during the Metal Age. Sandy De Leon. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394901)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;