Burial traditions in early Mid-Holocene Island Southeast Asia: new evidence from Bubog-1, Ilin Island, Mindoro Occidental

Alfred Pawlik (Corresponding Author), Rebecca Crozier, Riczar Fuentes, Rachel Wood, Philip Piper

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The Bubog-1 rockshelter on Ilin Island has provided important evidence for Late Pleistocene to Mid-Holocene (c. 33 000–4000 cal BP) human habitation, yet little is known about the contemporaneous transmission of material culture, technology and mortuary practices across Island Southeast Asia. Recent archaeological research at Bubog-1 has revealed a tightly flexed inhumation dating to c. 5000 cal BP—a type representative of a widespread, contemporaneous burial practice observed across the region. The emergence of diverse burial practices and their spread across Island Southeast Asia coincides with evidence for technological innovation and increasing long-distance interaction between island communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-918
Number of pages17
Issue number370
Early online date12 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Many thanks to the Bubog excavation team, to Vida Kusmartono for translating
Indonesian reports, and Annie Valera for the Bubog burial illustrations. Fieldwork in 2013-2015 was supported by the National Geographic Global Exploration Fund (GEFNE 62-12 and 129-14) and University of the Philippines, OVPAA, EIDR-Grant 2-002-1111212. Research in 2016 and 2017 was funded by the University of the Philippines Diliman, OVCRD Outright Research Grant 151513 PNSE, and UP System Enhanced Creative Work and Research Grant (ECWRG 2016-2-032). OVCRD Grant HJR-10-206 (080804) to Piper and Pawlik funded the dating of shell artefacts from Ille burials 874 and 727. Philip Piper was funded through the Australian Research Council Grant DP140100384. Rebecca Crozier was funded through University of the Philippines OVPAA Balik Research Grant OVPAA-BPhD2012-10. We thank Victor Paz for permission to date the Ille Cave samples. We thank the National Museum of the Philippines for permission to excavate in Ilin Island, and Mayor Romulo D. Festin and the administrative personnel of San Jose for their continuous support of our fieldwork on Ilin Island.


  • burial traditions
  • flexed burial
  • maritime interaction
  • sociocultural development
  • Island Southeast Asia
  • Terminal Pleistocene-Mid-Holocene
  • Holocene


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