Ancient Sorsogon Burial Jar – Tigkit na Saday


This primary jar burial inland site is located in the province of Sorsogon. A total of eight burial jars were recovered. Two jars had impressed designs on the bodies and its covers were made of earthenware. The rest of the jars had undecorated ovaloid-shaped bodies made of earthenware. Their covers were unlike the first two, for it was made of volcanic tuff. The stone covers weight approximately 50-60 kilograms each. The site was dated to the Developed Metal Age (200 BC-AD 200) on the “basis of the finely chiseled groove or canal found int he stone jar covers” [Dizon 1979: 41]. Dizon believes that metal implements were utilized to fashion the grooves in the covers.

Associated materials include alkali glass beads. Dizon [ibid.] further hypothesized that the beads were interred with femals and the metal implements with the males. However, this cannot be cross-checked because there were no skeletal remains recovered. This is perhaps because of the aciditity of the soil matrix. One clear distinction though is that beads and iron objects were not interred together. This could strengthen the claim for gender markers. Perhaps this artifacts were included int he graves with sex as a basis. This is a sexist and traditionalist view but it is the most probable reason. Sex differentiation in labor and roles is one of the basic determinants of social stratification.¹

Author’s Note: If I am not mistaken, there are ancient jars displayed in the Sorsogon museum. However, I can’t remember if these are the same jars that the article is referring to. Apparently, the jars in the museum and this article might be the same as mentioned by another article – “Dizon (1978). Primary and secondary burials were encountered. No Chinese tradewares were recovered at the site.But the most significant associated materials are multi-colored flat, round and spherical opage glass beads and some iron implements.“²

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¹[PDF File] page 305, Burial Goods in the Philippines: An Attempt to Quantify Prestige Values, G. Barretto-Tesoro, Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 41, No. 3, December 2003

²Page 82, Archeological Research in the Philippines, 1951-1983, Wilfredo P. Ronquillo, National Museum of the Philippines, Manila

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