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The Unto Site: Excavations at a Late First Millennium B.C. and Mid-Second Millennium A.D. Habitation Site in Southeastern Negros Island, the Philippines

ELISABETH A. BACUS
Asian Perspectives
Vol. 36, No. 1 (Spring 1997), pp. 106-141
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42928396
Page Count: 36
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Unto Site: Excavations at a Late First Millennium B.C. and Mid-Second Millennium A.D. Habitation Site in Southeastern Negros Island, the Philippines
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Abstract

The Dumaguete-Bacong area of southeastern Negros Island has been the recent focus of probabilistic, systematic regional survey that has identified, to date, over 70 "sites," and of systematic excavations at two of the recorded sites. In 1989 excavations were undertaken at one of these, the Unto site, which uncovered evidence for two periods of prehistoric occupation, the earliest of which dates to the late first millennium B.C. and the later to the mid-second millennium A.D. This site is significant in several respects, including yielding the earliest evidence for occupation in the southeastern Negros region and the presence of decorated earthenwares identical to a number of previously undated decorated wares (e.g., "Kalanay") that have been recovered from a number of islands in the central Philippines. This paper presents a summary of the excavations, of the features and artifactual remains uncovered, and of the morphological and technological analyses of the earthenware assemblages. Evidence of residential structures was uncovered in each period of occupation. Associated with these structures were middens yielding plain and decorated (i.e., slipped, incised, and/or carved) earthenware sherds, lithic artifacts, sherds of Asian and European tradewares, iron slag, metal fragments, fired clay lumps, and shell, bone, and tooth fragments. The paper concludes with a discussion of each of the two periods of prehistoric occupation and of a third, possibly early historic period of occupation at the site. Further analysis of the Unto site, especially within a regional context, will provide important information for addressing a number of questions central to our understanding of southeastern Negros prehistory including: the nature of sociopolitical complexity during the late first millennium B.C./early first millennium A.D., the production and distribution of "Kalanay" wares, and the changing sociopolitical context of decorated earthenwares.

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