Prehistory of the Philippines Docking station and entrance to the Tabon Cave Complex Site in Palawan , where one of the oldest human remains was located. Discovery of stone tools and fossils of butchered animal remains in Rizal, Kalinga described in a article in Nature has pushed back evidence of early hominins in the country to as early as , years.
Landa Jocano theorizes that the ancestors of the Filipinos evolved locally. These artifacts are said to be evidence of long range communication between prehistoric Southeast Asian societies. By BC, the inhabitants of the Philippine archipelago had developed into four distinct kinds of peoples: Existence of a " Jade culture " in the Philippines is evidenced by tens of thousands of exquisitely crafted jade artifacts found at a site in Batangas province.
The artifacts have been both tools like chisels , and ornaments such as lingling-o earrings, bracelets and beads. Nephrite, otherwise known as Jade, is a mineral widely used throughout Asia as ornaments or for decorative purposes. The oldest jade artefacts in Asia BC were found in China where they were used as the primary hardstone of Chinese sculpturing. During this period, the knowledge of jade craftsmanship spread across the sea to Taiwan and eventually to the Philippines.
The artefacts discovered in several sites in the Philippines were made from nephrite. Nephrite excavated in the Philippines were of two types: Please help to ensure that disputed statements are reliably sourced. See the relevant discussion on the talk page.
The Manunggul Jar , c. One of the finest pre-colonial artworks which reflect artistry of ancient Filipinos. The Sa Huyun culture showed evidence of an extensive trade network. Sa Huynh beads were made from glass, carnelian , agate , olivine , zircon , gold and garnet ; most of these materials were not local to the region, and were most likely imported. Han Dynasty -style bronze mirrors were also found in Sa Huynh sites.
History of the Philippines — Initial recorded history[ edit ] During the period of the south Indian Pallava dynasty and the north Indian Gupta Empire , Indian culture spread to Southeast Asia and the Philippines which led to the establishment of Indianized kingdoms. From the details of the document, written in Kawi script , the bearer of a debt, Namwaran, along with his children Lady Angkatan and Bukah, are cleared of a debt by the ruler of Tondo.
From the various Sanskrit terms and titles seen in the document, the culture and society of Manila Bay was that of a Hindu — Old Malay amalgamation, similar to the cultures of Java , Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra at the time. There are no other significant documents from this period of pre-Hispanic Philippine society and culture until the Doctrina Christiana of the late 16th century, written at the start of the Spanish period in both native Baybayin script and Spanish.
Other artifacts with Kawi script and baybayin were found, such as an Ivory seal from Butuan dated to the early 11th century  and the Calatagan pot with baybayin inscription, dated to the 13th century. Instead, the region was dotted by numerous semi-autonomous barangays settlements ranging in size from villages to city-states under the sovereignty of competing thalassocracies ruled by datus , wangs, rajahs , sultans or lakans.
States such as the Kingdom of Maynila , the Kingdom of Taytay in Palawan mentioned by Antonio Pigafetta to be where they resupplied when the remaining ships escaped Cebu after Magellan was slain , the Chieftaincy of Coron Island ruled by fierce warriors called Tagbanua as reported by Spanish missionaries mentioned by Nilo S. Ocampo,  Namayan , the Kingdom of Tondo , the Sinitic wangdom of Pangasinan , the nation of Ma-i , the Kedatuans of Madja-as and Dapitan , the Indianized rajahnates of Butuan and Cebu and the sultanates of Maguindanao , Lanao and Sulu existed alongside the highland societies of the Ifugao and Mangyan.
Tondo historical polity A Tagalog royal couple belonging to the Maginoo class. The Piloncitos , a type of Gold nuggets with Baybayin Ma characters. Used as one of the early currency along with Gold rings. The Laguna Copperplate Inscription , c. The oldest known historical record found in the Philippines, which indirectly refers to the polity of Tondo.
Since at least the year , this thalassocracy centered in Manila Bay flourished via an active trade with Chinese, Japanese, Malays, and various other peoples in Asia. Tondo thrived as the capital and the seat of power of this ancient kingdom, which was led by kings under the title "Lakan" which belongs to the caste of the Maharlika , who were the feudal warrior class in ancient Tagalog society.
They ruled a large part of what is now known as Luzon from Ilocos to Bicol from possibly before AD to , becoming the largest pre-colonial Philippine state. The Spaniards called them Hidalgos. During its existence, it grew to become one of the most prominent and wealthy kingdom states in pre-colonial Philippines due to heavy trade and connections with several neighboring nations such as China and Japan.
Due to its very good relations with Japan, the Japanese called Tondo as Luzon, even a famous Japanese merchant, Luzon Sukezaemon , went as far as to change his surname from Naya to Luzon. In AD, the lord-minister Jayadewa presented a document of debt forgiveness to Lady Angkatan and her brother Bukah, the children of Namwaran. This is described in the Philippines' oldest known document, the Laguna Copperplate Inscription. Caboloan Pangasinan or Feng-chia-hsi-lan in Chinese records, was a sovereign Prehispanic Philippine state, notable for having traded with the Kingdom of Ryukyu , Japan and was a tributary state to Ming Dynasty.
The Chinese records of this kingdom began when the first tributary King Wang in Chinese , Kamayin, sent an envoy offering gifts to the Chinese Emperor.
It was locally known the Luyag na Kaboloan also spelled Caboloan , with Binalatongan as its capital, existed in the fertile Agno River valley. It flourished around the same period, the Srivijaya and Majapahit empires arose in Indonesia which had extended their influence to much of the Malay Archipelago. Urduja , a legendary woman warrior, is believed to have ruled in Pangasinan around the 14th century. Pangasinan enjoyed full independence until the Spanish conquest.
In the sixteenth century Pangasinan was called the "Port of Japan" by the Spanish. The locals wore native apparel typical of other maritime Southeast Asian ethnic groups in addition to Japanese and Chinese silks.
Even common people were clad in Chinese and Japanese cotton garments. They also blackened their teeth and were disgusted by the white teeth of foreigners, which were likened to that of animals. Also, used porcelain jars typical of Japanese and Chinese households. Japanese-style gunpowder weapons were also encountered in naval battles in the area.
Other than a notably more extensive trade network with Japan and China, they were culturally similar to other Luzon groups to the south. The Nation of Ma-i[ edit ] Main article: Its people were noted for their honesty and trustworthiness in trade.
A royal couple of the Visayans. During the 11th century several exiled datus of the collapsing empire of Srivijaya  led by Datu Puti led a mass migration to the central islands of the Philippines, fleeing from Rajah Makatunao of the island of Borneo.
Upon reaching the island of Panay and purchasing the island from Negrito chieftain Marikudo, they established a confederation of polities and named it the Kedatuan of Madja-as centered in Aklan and they settled the surrounding islands of the Visayas. This confederation reached its peak under Datu Padojinog. During his reign the confederations' hegemony extended over most of the islands of Visayas. Its people consistently made piratical attacks against Chinese imperial shipping.
Gold, Cotton, and Slaves were bartered in exchange of silk, porcelain, beads, and other metals. Traders paid tribute to the Rajah of Cebu. The Rajahnate of Cebu was a classical Philippine state which used to exist on Cebu island prior to the arrival of the Spanish.
It was founded by Sri Lumay otherwise known as Rajamuda Lumaya, a minor prince of the Hindu Srivijaya dynasty which happened to occupy Sumatra - Indonesia.
He was sent by the maharajah to establish a base for expeditionary forces to subdue the local kingdoms but he rebelled and established his own independent Rajahnate instead.
This rajahnate warred against the 'magalos' Slave traders of Maguindanao and had an alliance with the Rajahnate of Butuan and Indianized Kutai in South Borneo, before it was weakened by the insurrection of Datu Lapu-Lapu. A silver strip excavated from the s in Butuan inside of a wooden coffin. The characters display a Hindu-Buddhist influence, probably a form of early writing in the Philippines. By year , Rajah Sri Bata Shaja, the monarch of the Indianized Rajahnate of Butuan , a maritime-state famous for its goldwork  sent a trade envoy under ambassador Likan-shieh to the Chinese Imperial Court demanding equal diplomatic status with other states.