UP Professor Leading International Archeological Team Discovers New Human Species in Callao Cave

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Prof. Armand Salvador Mijares explains the unique anatomy of Homo luzonensis at a press conference at the UP College of Science Auditorium. Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO. (UP Breakthroughs)

Asian history has become even more fascinating as a team of archeologists in the Philippines have unearthed a new human species in a certain cave in the island of Luzon. They named it Homo luzonensis after the name of the place where it was found. The international team was led by Armando Salvador B. Mijares, an associate professor at the University of the Philippines.

Mijares and his team began their excavation in 2007 at the Callao Cave in Peñablanca, Cagayan. It is located in the northern part of Luzon. They continued their research every after four years, revisiting the site in 2011 and 2015 respectively. The hominin fossils were dug up from a sedimentary level located three meters below the current surface of the cave floor. Armand DP Encarnacion reported on Wednesday, April 11, in UP’s official blog, Breakthroughs.

Here is a video describing the features of Homo Luzonensis.

The professor, together with his team, first presented their findings in 2010. The fossils belong to at least three individuals, Mijares said. The most prominent item they discovered is a small, curved toe bone which possessed a mix of features similar to other hominids. How these human ancestors arrived in Philippine soil and where they came from remains a mystery. The Filipino professor is proud of what his team has accomplished and dedicates their discovery to the preservation of his country’s heritage.

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