Amazing Discovery: 709,000-Year-Old Tools Point to Mystery Human Relatives in the Philippines

By  - 1 year ago

A significant contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge was made when 709,000-year-old stone tools and rhinoceros remains were found in Kalinga, Philippines.


709,000-year-old stone tools found at an archeological site in Kalinga, Philippines


It is believed the tools were used to butcher a rhino


At the National Museum of Natural History in Ermita, Manila, the prehistoric remains were on view and their origin story and remarkableness revealed. At the request of National Geographic, FOX Networks Group and The Girl on TV got the inside scoop. Here’s what we dug up:


What was found?

Stone tools used for cutting were found next to the bones and teeth of a prehistoric species of rhinoceros. There were cut marks on the bones, implying that it had been butchered. Archeologists dated the finds as far as 709,000 years back.


The lesions in the rhinoceros bones indicate some tools were also used to extract marrow


These marks additionally indicate the tools were used to cut flesh


The rhinoceros tooth


What does it mean?

This implies that an unknown species related to present day humans used tools to butcher a much larger animal. Researchers do not know which species of early human it could have been as human-like remains have yet to be found.

Previously, it was believed that early humans arrived in the Philippines 67,000 years ago. But with this recent discovery, this places the arrival of humans on our soil much further back. Also, it raises the question: were early humans intelligent enough to build watercraft and venture out into the vast, open waters?


Why is it important to our nation and to us as humans?

This find is significant because it furthers archaeological and scientific advancement on a global scale. Not only is this information valuable to us as a nation in terms of scientific progress and national identity; this research is something that can be appropriated and further developed overseas.

Like the team of researchers who found the remains, we too, as a country, should be excited to be contributing to something that could affect so many!

And although we aren’t the same species as that which made use of the stone tools, we share the same heritage as they do. Knowing this, it’s up to us take pride in our legacy as human beings; where we came from and how far we’ve come since 709,000 years ago, when we may have first turned up on these shores.


What now?

Further work on the archeological site in Kalinga will happen in June. The site where the remains were found only spanned 16 square meters whilst the entire area consists of 16 square kilometers. Could more finds come out of this next stage of the dig?

Meanwhile, you can visit the National Museum of Natural History when it opens its doors to the public on May 18, on International Museum Day. Soak in its gorgeous architecture whilst absorbing its unique flora and fauna exhibits.


The glass dome that sits atop the museum’s main area


Media and guests gathering around the finds


Directors of the National Museum of the Philippines


The museum’s exterior