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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 April 2021

Andrea Jalandoni*
Griffith University - PERAHU, Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Queensland, Australia
Marie Grace Pamela G Faylona
Philippine Normal University, Faculty of Behavioral And Social Sciences, Manila, Philippines De la Salle University, Behavioral Sciences Department, Manila, Philippines
Aila Shaine Sambo
University of the Philippines Diliman, Archaeological Studies Program, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Mark D Willis
Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Caroline Marie Q Lising
Ateneo de Manila University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Quezon City, Philippines
Maria Kottermair
Griffith University, Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Queensland, Australia
Xandriane E Loriega
University of the Philippines Diliman, Archaeological Studies Program, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Paul S C Taçon
Griffith University - PERAHU, Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Queensland, Australia
*Corresponding author. Email:


This paper integrates the first rock art directly dated with radiocarbon (14C) in Southeast Asia with the archaeological activity in the area and with stylistically similar rock art in the region. Peñablanca is a hotspot of archaeological research that includes the oldest dates for human remains in the Philippines. The caves in Peñablanca with known rock art were revisited and only 37.6% of the original recorded figures were found; the others are likely lost to agents of deterioration. A sample was collected from an anthropomorph and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dated to 3570–3460 cal BP. The date corresponds to archaeological activity in the area and provides a more holistic view of the people inhabiting the Peñablanca caves at that time. A systematic review was used to find similar black anthropomorph motifs in Southeast Asia to identify potential connections across the region and provide a possible chronological association.

Research Article
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press for the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona

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