Possibly oldest human fossil in Asia-Pacific region found by archaeologists in Cagayan Province

A foot bone, specifically the metatarsal, at least 67,000 years old was discovered in Callao Cave in Cagayan Province by a team of archaeologists led by Dr. Armand Mijares of the University of the Philippines Diliman, reports GMANews.tv. The remains of the dubbed "Callao Man" are much older than the 50,000-year-old Tabon Man’s remains, previously thought as the oldest in the Philippines.

Mijares exclusively told GMANews.tv, "This could be the earliest human fossil found in the Asia-Pacific region. The presence of humans in Luzon shows these early humans already possessed knowledge of seacraft-making in this early period."

According to GMANews.tv, the primary theory is that the Callao Man traveled from Indonesia to Luzon at a time when humans were thought of incapable of long-distance sea travel. Another theory is that the Callao Man is not fully human but only resembles the human species, as UP Archaeological Studies Program’s Dr. Victor Paz told GMANews.tv. If the Callao Man is indeed older than Homo sapiens, it could mean the first humans in the Philippines evolved in the country, instead of sailing here as long thought.

Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Michael Tan wrote, "Mijares is proud that the particular excavation that yielded the metatarsal was funded by UP, but acknowledges the support of the National Museum, the Australian National University and the Museum of Natural History (Paris), all of whom have been pouring in money and technical expertise for various archaeological projects."

For more on this story, log on to GMANews.tv and Inquirer.net.

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