THE Municipality of Daanbantayan in northern Cebu will conduct a salvage archeology to gather more data and materials from the site where human remains and artifacts thought to date from the Yuan or Ming Dynasty, around 600 to 700 years ago, were discovered.

Dr. Jose Eleazar Bersales was the first archeologist tasked by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to examine the artifacts found during the digging for a drainage construction project at the Daanbantayan Cultural Center two days after the discoveries were uploaded on social media.

Bersales said the procedures, which included checking the artifacts and locating and examining the burial place, will take around five days and cost up to P200,000, excluding the meals and lodging for the archeologists.

“What I found there was not one set of human remains but probably two that were accidentally removed last week. The same workers also found one other set of incomplete human skeletal remains that were placed in a sack. This third one had actually been found months earlier when the porte cochere or entrance canopy of the cultural center was constructed. Apparently this one was put in a sack and reburied perhaps months or a few years ago,” Bersales said.

“The big earthenware pot was broken in three or four parts. It supposedly contained shells, according to those who removed the pot. I also found broken fragments of Longquan celadon... which most probably date either to the Yuan Dynasty or the early part of the Ming Dynasty (about 1300s-1450s) or about 600-700 years ago. There were also sherds or broken fragments of blue and white porcelain which may also date to the same period,” he added.

Bersales, in an interview with SunStar Cebu, said Mayor Sun Shimura agreed to temporarily stop the drainage project to give way to the salvage archeology.

“The purpose is to use controlled excavation in order to recover as much as possible all the human remains and cultural materials buried in the area where the drainage project will pass through. This will help date the site and add it to the dearth of information on the pre-colonial past of Daanbantayan as well as of Cebu Island,” Bersales explained.

The salvage archeology group is composed of four archeologists led by Bersales. He said they can start the salvage archeology once the municipality gives them the go signal and provides them with everything they need for the project. (PAC / TPT)