Rizal fos­sils ex­ca­va­tion set from July to Au­gust

Sun.Star Baguio - - FRONT PAGE - Non­nette Ben­nett

RIZAL, Kalinga Mayor Mel­chor Dela Cruz said the an­nual ex­ca­va­tion of fos­sils here by the French govern­ment will be­gin in July and last for a month which started since 2013 fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of rhi­noc­eros fos­sils in the town recently.

Open to ob­servers, he said that this year's ac­tiv­i­ties re­strict pic­ture tak­ing and other com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties at the site to avoid dam­age to fos­sils which cov­ers a four square me­ter area with a depth of seven me­ters.

Pho­tos are not al­lowed at the site some 11 kms from the mu­nic­i­pal hall be­cause car­bon dat­ing pro­cesses need to be done on the rocks and bones be­fore they are pre­sented to the pub­lic.

Dela Cruz added the Na­tional Mu­seum with the French govern­ment and Rizal govern­ment of­fi­cials

pre­sented to the pub­lic the fos­sils un­earthed from 20142015 on May 10 at a na­tional press con­fer­ence. The dis­cov­ered bones and tools, ac­cord­ing to Dela Cruz are sci­en­tif­i­cally pro­cessed in France. These bones are also cast in an at­tempt to make a replica of the an­i­mals that ex­isted some 700,000 years ago. Dela Cruz said as of the lat­est car­bon dat­ing tests, the age of the ar­ti­facts are 709,000 years.

The mayor added the pos­si­bil­i­ties of find­ing a Kalinga man among the fos­sils will put Rizal, Kalinga as the home of the old­est hu­man in the coun­try.

Pro­tected by PD 1109 s. 1977 declar­ing the arche­o­log­i­cal ar­eas in Ca­gayan Val­ley and Kalinga-Apayao arche­o­log­i­cal reserva tion, Mayor Dela Cruz has en­joined the Depart­ment of Environment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR), Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (DA), Depart­ment of Tourism (DOT), and other govern­ment agencies to pre­vent com­mer­cial or agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties in the area. He has also stopped an il­le­gal fenc­ing and farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the area by des­ig­nat­ing a mu­nic­i­pal guard and pros­e­cut­ing per­sons at­tempt­ing to en­ter the area.

Dela Cruz said he also ac­costed the first arche­o­log­i­cal team com­posed of in­ter­na­tional arche­ol­o­gists and Univer­sity of the Philip­pines mem­bers when they pre­sented a per­mit is­sued by the Na­tional Mu­seum to ex­ca­vate in an area of Solana, Ca­gayan.

The mayor told them the area they were ex­ca­vat­ing did not be­long to Ca­gayan but to Kalinga. This had ac­tu­ally forged the for­mal link­age of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity with the govern­ment of France fund­ing the ex­pe­di­tion.

This has also pointed out that Solana, Ca­gayan was not to claim the site as United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tion Sci­en­tific Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNESCO) Her­itage Site but Rizal, Kalinga as the right­ful mu­nic­i­pal­ity and lo­cale.

As of the mo­ment, the an­nual ex­pe­di­tion and the ex­pand­ing area where more ar­ti­facts are be­ing un­earthed have prompted the prepa­ra­tion of the mu­seum that will house the grow­ing num­ber of bones from dif­fer­ent an­i­mals.

As France casts repli­cas of the bones, Dela Cruz looks for­ward to the first replica of the an­cient an­i­mals and pos­si­bly the bones of the first hu­man in the Philip­pines or the Kalinga man.

To­day, one can reach the mu­nic­i­pal hall of Rizal via the Tugue­garao San­ti­ago Road. Turn right into the Ro­mualdez Police Sta­tion and drive some four kilo­me­ters to the new mu­nic­i­pal build­ing. The mini mu­seum is on the sec­ond floor where some of the orig­i­nal bones are dis­played for tourists to see. From Tabuk, a com­muter trav­els some 27 kilo­me­ters at a cost of P100, P50 for the jeep ye ride to Ro­mualdez Police Sta­tion and P50 on tri­cy­cle to the mu­nic­i­pal hall.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.