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Ref ID: 37104
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Canilao, Michael Armand P.
Sarmiento, Czar Jakiri S.
Rufino, Gwyneth Anjelika D.
Hilario, Laarni F.
Title: Isles of Passages: Transport geography perspective on Calayan and Lubang as gateways to the main Island of Luzon (Metal ages to early historical period, 500 BCE to CE 1600)
Date: 2021
Source: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.103124
Abstract: Archaeological works have tended to privilege the processes behind the rise and fall of ancient culture- centers (as defined by Wallerstein 2004 in World Systems Theory) while some have attempted to integrate more data on the changes that take place in strategic nodes or peripheries that ‘feed’ into these centers (Junker and Smith, 2017; Hendrickson et al., 2013). This paper tackles how social-historical transformations may have become an impetus in the waxing and waning of gateway/ gatekeeper locations using transport geography perspective. At the center of the case study are two strategic island nodes connecting to the main Island of Luzon- – Calayan and Lubang group. The paper attempts to demonstrate that due to social-historical factors specifically evolving trade, colonial assimilation, and technological diffusion, these key players have eventually taken a backseat in the transportation and communication network in this crucial passage to Island Southeast Asia. The crux of the argument lies on probative evidence that these islands possibly supported more inhabitants before the Spanish Contact period in the 16th c, using boat shaped burial complexes and ijang (garrison) complexes as proxy indicators. Aided by geomatics and remote sensing and geographic information systems (RS-GIS) algorithms including maximum likelihood classification, band maths as well as principal component analysis, the paper emphasizes the density of possible archaeological sites in both island locales as the proxy indicator to the pre-Contact period populations. The paper argues that the introduction of blue water maritime vessels with the opening of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade (Wu, 2019; Dizon, 2004; Dizon, 2003; Schurz, 1985 on the Manila Galleon) contributed to the waning of the strategic importance of these island nodes with the final straw being the Spanish colonial administrations’ policy of depopulating these smaller islands and relocating them to their colonial- panoptic landscapes in Luzon. The role of the prevailing market situation as dictated by rapidly evolving scales of transactions from evanescent to more permanent markets (Canilao, 2020) may have also contributed to the emergent new status quo in these isles of passage.
Volume: 39: 103124
Page Start: 1
Page End: 31