Issue of June 3, 2012
Mt. Province

64th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Ifugao archaeological project opens Kiangan field school
by Dan B. Codamon / PIA

KIANGAN, Ifugao – The Ifugao Archaelogical Project (IAP) will open its first field school on June 6 in an old village here.

The project is done in collaboration with the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement, Inc. (SITMO), National Museum of the Philippines, and Ifugao State University, University of the Philippines, and the local government.

Eulalie Dulnuan, executive assistant of Kiangan Mayor Joselito Guyguyon, said the project will focus on the Old Kiyyangan Village which is located about four kilometers from Barangay Poblacion and considered in Ifugao mythology as the first village recorded by some historians with the confirmation of some Ifugao mumbakis. 

The site is believed to be one of the oldest in the area. Excavations will be made to provide radiocarbon dates that will contribute to the documentation of the Ifugaos as a people. 

Previous excavations were made in the early 1980s but dates were inconclusive. Today, with the advancement in technology and the practice of chronometric hygiene, the project is expected to establish baseline information for the development of terrace-building traditions for the Ifugaos and the Cordillera people. 

The archeological project, which is partially supported by the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration Grant, hopes to contribute to Ifugao scholarship and the development of sustainable conservation plan for the rice terraces since the Ifugao Rice Terraces illustrated humanity’s relationship with the environment. 

The project will examine anthropological issues that include relationships between agricultural irrigation systems with emergent complexity, pathways to intensification, and organizational entailment of irrigation systems.

Such work will inform on the theoretical foundations of studies of agricultural systems and social organization by applying the model self organizing systems, providing empirical data to similar studies in islands of Southeast Asia and elsewhere and provides a historical ecological approach in the study of emergent complexity.

The study will also add a new perspective in the recursive relationship between humans and their landscapes. 

The field school will be directed by Stephen Acabado of the University of Guam and co-directed by Marlon Martin of the SITMO, Ana Labrador of the National Museum, Grace Tesoro of UP, and John Peterson of the University of Guam.

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