Guam – The University of Guam’s Micronesian Area Research Center received a $15K grant from the National Geographic Society / Waitt Grants Program to conduct archaeological and paleoenvironmental investigations at Marigondon Cave, located in Cebu, Philippines.
The underwater Marigondon Cave offshore from Plantation Bay Resort, Mactan Island, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines is thought to have been above sea level during the last two full glacial periods. Humans occupied Tabon Cave on Palawan Island, Philippines, and this suggests that Marigondon Cave may have been occupied during one or both of those periods. Initial exploration of the cave in March 2005 by divers from the National Museum of the Philippines confirm that silt and debris on the floor of the cave are susceptible to excavation and that the cave would have been a highly attractive locale for settlement during its periods of emergence above sea level.
Caves and rock shelters have been attractive magnets for human settlement as well as to investigators who have often found archaeological remains at undisturbed shelters. However, the opportunities for finding significant and pristine rock shelter deposits are fast fading as looters and developers dig out these localities. Submerged rock shelters such as at Marigondon, on the other hand, offer new and previously unstudied sites with great potential for well-preserved deposits.
Laboratory analysis of any artifacts recovered during the excavation will be done at the National Museum of the Philippines by investigators who are experienced in Paleolithic sites in the Philippines.