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𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐀𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐔𝐀𝐍 𝐃𝐀𝐆𝐆𝐄𝐑 - A Newly-Revealed 2,000 Year-old Archaeological Treasure [Philippine Funerary Artefacts]

𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐀𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐔𝐀𝐍 𝐃𝐀𝐆𝐆𝐄𝐑 - A Newly-Revealed 2,000 Year-old Archaeological Treasure [Philippine Funerary Artefacts]



Who might have owned this dagger‭?‬

What could have it been used for‭?‬

The jar burial practice of Catanauan in Quezon Province involved burying the dead in large earthenware jars along the sandy coasts, with slabs of coraline or volcanic stone covering the vessels. ‬Interred with the deceased were various grave goods‭, ‬which are believed to either be personal possessions or votive offerings for the afterlife‭.‬


𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐀𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐔𝐀𝐍 𝐃𝐀𝐆𝐆𝐄𝐑 - A Newly-Revealed 2,000 Year-old Archaeological Treasure [Philippine Funerary Artefacts]


This iron dagger is one of the most remarkable funerary artefacts recovered in 2017‭ ‬from a jar burial site located on a beach facing Marinduque across the waters of the Mompog Pass‭. ‬It was found under human skeletal remains‭, ‬along with some green‭, ‬red and‭ ‬yellow glass beads‭. ‬

𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐀𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐔𝐀𝐍 𝐃𝐀𝐆𝐆𝐄𝐑 - A Newly-Revealed 2,000 Year-old Archaeological Treasure [Philippine Funerary Artefacts]


The dagger’s double-edged metal blade is leaf-shaped‭, ‬while the finger-fitting grip of the handle is made of layers of bone and organic material‭, ‬possibly wood‭, ‬to seemingly form the shape of a boat‭. ‬What is striking about its ornate‭, ‬asymmetrical handle is the detailed carving that resembles interwoven patterns with tiny holes onto which the glass beads may have been inlaid‭.‬


𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐀𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐔𝐀𝐍 𝐃𝐀𝐆𝐆𝐄𝐑 - A Newly-Revealed 2,000 Year-old Archaeological Treasure [Philippine Funerary Artefacts]


Ethnographic inferences on indigenous societies in the Philippines may tell us of the ownership of these items‭, ‬which are mostly‭ ‬reserved for people of high status such as chieftains and prominent individuals‭, ‬serving as symbols of power and grandeur‭. ‬The‭ ‬National Museum of the Philippines exists to support and promote further scientific analysis of this artefact and its archaeological context‭.‬


𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐀𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐔𝐀𝐍 𝐃𝐀𝐆𝐆𝐄𝐑 - A Newly-Revealed 2,000 Year-old Archaeological Treasure [Philippine Funerary Artefacts]



The Catanauan Archaeological and Heritage Project is conducted by the University of the Philippines-Archaeological Studies Program and the Australian National University-School of Archaeology and Anthropology with the support of the National Museum of the‭ ‬Philippines‭, ‬the site owners‭, ‬and the municipal government and community of Catanauan‭, ‬Quezon‭. ‬

DG Jeremy Barns thanks Dr. Paz and the team for bringing to the public on #IMD2022 the Catanauan Dagger
DG Jeremy Barns thanks Dr. Paz and the team for bringing to the public on #IMD2022 the Catanauan Dagger

Over the years‭, ‬the Project has involved various archaeologists and many students from all over the Philippines as well as from Australia‭, ‬Europe‭, ‬the United States‭, ‬and the Asia-Pacific‭. ‬Special acknowledgement is given to the owner of the site‭, ‬Mr‭. ‬Ermilando Napa‭, ‬for his continuous support in this archaeological endeavor‭.‬

NMP Museum Researchers installing the Catanauan Dagger
NMP Museum Researchers installing the Catanauan Dagger



The Catanauan Dagger‭, ‬as with all archaeological resources found in Philippine territory is‭, ‬by law‭, ‬the property of the State and thereby of the Filipino people‭. ‬This public exhibition is made courtesy of the object’s authorized custodian‭, ‬Dr‭. ‬Victor J‭. ‬Paz and the University of the Philippines-Archaeological Studies Program

Dr. Victor J. Paz with NMP management, archaeologists, technicians, and exhibition and communications staff
Dr. Victor J. Paz with NMP management, archaeologists, technicians, and exhibition and communications staff




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