Tabon Cave: The Cradle of Philippine Civilization
The Tabon Cave is the Philippines' Cradle of Civilization. The Tabon Cave complex has 200 caves where the archeological artifacts found in the caves contributes significantly to the history and heritage of the Philippines.
An American from the National Museum, Dr. Robert B. Fox, discovered Tabon Cave in 1962 together with his team of archeologists. Lipuun Point, Quezon, Palawan, Philippines is the location of the Tabon Cave complex.
Important archeological findings resulted in the discovery of Tabon Cave. Fossil human bones were found dating back 22,000 to 24,000 years ago. Tabon Cave excavations were done from the year 1962 to 1970. The Tabon Cave complex consists of 200 caves but only 29 caves were fully explored. The Tabon Cave was analyzed to be the burial site or habitation of ancient people in the Philippines.
The Tabon Cave has a great importance and contribution to the history and heritage of the Philippines. In 1972, the Philippine Government declared the site of Tabon Cave as a Museum Reservation Site. Of the 29 explored caves, only three caves are being opened to the public as a tourist attraction. Visitors flock every day to explore the Tabon Cave. The National Museum is in-charge of the maintenance and management of the Tabon Cave complex.
The Tabon Cave is facing the South China Sea. The name Tabon was derived after a large-footed bird that lays its eggs on the cave floors. The Tabon Cave mouth is about 33 meters above sea level.
The people who inhabited the Tabon Cave were alive earlier than the Tabon Man. The stone tools that were found inside the cave proved this theory. The Tabon Cave's deepest soil deposit age is about 50,000 years old. The cave's youngest soil deposit is about 10,000 years old. It shows that for 40,000 years, Tabon Cave was continuously used as a habitation for early people and they used the same kind of tools.
The archeological remains of Tabon Cave suggest that the early people living in the cave prefer to catch small animals, birds, and bats that live within the cave because the stone tools found were small enough to kill small animals.
One of the important caves in Tabon Cave complex is the Guri Cave, located in Lipuun Point, Quezon, Palawan, Philippines. Guri Cave is also considered as the early people's habitation. The cave has a certain layer of soil that contains garbage mainly composed of marine shells that the early people left behind. The date is between 5000 and 2000 years B.C. This was the time when the present sea level brought the coastline right in Lipuun Point.
The Tabon Cave complex is referred to as the "Cradle of Philippine Civilization". The archeological artifacts found in these caves makes it an interesting destination not just for tourists but for archeologists and anthropologists as well. The Tabon Cave shows the rich heritage and history of the Philippines.