Archaeologists have been exploring the Callao Cave on the Philippine island of Luzon since 2007. Over the years, they have uncovered many strange fossils. The cave is located in the Sierra Madre mountain range, and it is just one of 300 caves in the area. At one time, there were nine chambers in the cave. After an earthquake in the 1980s, two of the caverns were blocked, leaving only seven accessible.
The Largest Chamber
The cave’s largest chamber is 160-feet wide and 118-feet high. Due to its size, the locals turned it into a chapel. The cave is lit by the natural light that comes in through the slits in the ceiling, and they even made an altar rock. Due to environmental changes, the cave has some very fascinating features including flowstones, cave curtains, and dripstones. Also, stalagmites and stalactites have formed due to the build-up of minerals that were produced from the drops of water. Of the many caves, Callao draws the most visitors because it is easy to access thanks to a set of manmade steps.
Back in the early 2000s, a Filipino researcher named Armand Salvador Mijares started exploring the cave. He was a student at the University of the Philippines at the time. He began studying the caves looking for evidence of ancient farmers. After a while, his research morphed into something completely different. He was on this quest because, in 2004, archaeologists in Indonesia found evidence of a species that was said to be related to a man called Homo
In 2007, Armand and a team went out to the caves and began excavating. During the search, they found bones, but they were the bones from deer and other mammals. There weren’t any bones that belonged to humans. This didn’t discourage them. Instead, it just made them want to search more. They assumed that the people who once lived there fed on these animals. As they continued looking, they found what they believed to be a human foot, but there was something about it that was strange. Unfortunately, they could come to no definite conclusions, so they continued digging.
Over the next few years, the team found teeth, parts of hands, and a portion of a thigh bone. The teeth were unusual. Modern humans just have a single root. The teeth that they found had three roots. The teeth were also very small. A paleoanthropologist from the Australian National University named Debbie Argue found the teeth to be very significant. The teeth that were found were much smaller than the teeth recovered from the Homo
Armand and his team published a paper in the scientific journal Nature regarding their find. In the article, they discussed the evidence that they found and called the new species, homo
Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist from Canada’s Lakehead University, says that the more fossils are discovered, the more we will learn about the people who inhabited our planet before us.
For quite some time, humans were thought to have first lived in Africa. It was believed that humans remained there for 1.5 million years, and they began to emigrate. These humans were known as homo
Since we don’t really know what life was like back then, we can only go by theories derived by experts in the field. For decades, archaeologists have been digging in areas looking for answers to questions that we may never be able to answer with complete surety. We have the technology today to do more than ever before, but we just might never know.
What the Future Holds
We don’t know what the future holds when it comes to new discoveries. Scientists in the Philippines have discovered a new species of human. Who knows what will be discovered in the future. There could come a day that we find something incredible, that will finally tell the story about who lived on Earth before us, and what they were like.