The Balobok Archaeological Site, also known as the Balobok Rockshelter, is located in Bongao, the capital of the Tawi-tawi Island in the Philippines. Discoveries made by scientists across the site have earned it the label of one of the earliest human settlement zones in the region.
The Balobok Archaeological Site is known for being one part of an enormous karst formation that features layer upon layer of history. Finds that link to the development (or simply the presence) of humans in the are include the discovery of shells and minerals put there by early humans, as well as animal remains and ancient artefacts. Most notably, archaeologists found flake tools, polished stones, earthenware and bone tools, all of which were dated back to around 8,810 to 5,190 years old and clearly demonstrate the ability of humans in the Philippines at this time to create and use tools.
As a result of the artefacts and fossilised materials found in the caves, the site has become one of only a handful of areas in the archipelago recognised for its contribution to the advancement of science and anthropology. In fact, in 2017 the site was declared and Important Cultural Property by the Philippines National Government, and is now a popular tourist spot for travellers hoping to find out about the ancestors of the country’s modern population. Furthermore, it has been recognised as providing some of the earliest evidence of human settlement in the whole of Southeast Asia.
"Balobok Archaeological Site". HistoryLearning.com. 2023. Web.