Upper Pleistocene Homo sapiens from the Tabon cave (Palawan, The Philippines): description and dating of new discoveries

Florent DÉTROIT, Eusebio DIZON, Christophe FALGUÈRES, Sébastien HAMEAU, Wilfredo RONQUILLO & François SÉMAH

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 3 (8) - Pages 705-712

Published on 31 December 2004

Among the poor fossil record of Southeast Asian Upper Pleistocene Homo sapiens, the Tabon human remains are frequently cited in the literature despite very scarce published palaeoanthropological data. A recent Filipino-French joint work confirmed the significance of the discoveries made in the 1960s: a frontal bone and two mandibular fragments that have been recently described and dated. Simultaneously, the archaeological potential of the Tabon site has been re-assessed and fieldwork organized by the National Museum of the Philippines yielded another eleven human remains. Palaeoanthropological description and new dating of the human fossils from Tabon cave are proposed and discussed. Some of the new dates obtained confirm the ca. 16 500 BP age of the frontal bone, but older ages have been obtained for other human fossils. The palaeoanthropological evidence suggests that all remains pertain to modern Homo sapiens. However, their high morphological variability is discussed in the frame of early Homo sapiens settlements in insular Southeast Asia.


Southeast Asia, Fossil Homo sapiens, Upper Pleistocene, Early settlements, Dating, U series

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