Understanding the Spatial Patterning of Tropical Foragers on Negros Oriental, Eighth through Nineteenth Centuries


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Grants to Individuals in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History Dissertation Fellowships (North America)




This project explores the social, economic, and ideological contexts of regional settlement systems of tropical foragers in island Southeast Asia, and more specifically on the island of Negros oriental in the Philippines, over a period of more than 1000 years. Regional settlement pattern data, the results of a previous excavation of a probable forager sites, and analyses of stone tools and other archaeological materials collected in the course of Bais-Tanjay Project in the Central Philippines supports additional archaeological fieldwork at one or more foraging camps in the uplands and in the ecotone between the uplands and lowlands that are associated with Ata hunters-gatherers and likely their ancestors. Furthermore, for what may be the first time, this research incorporates archaeological data, ethnographic data, and historical sources into the analysis, providing an in-depth analysis of Ata settlement patterns both diachronically and spatially. Particularly significant are interviews with Ata settled since the late 1980’s in a cultural reserve north of the Bais-Tanjay Region in Mabinay, with the aim of eliciting “memory culture” concerning settlement strategies, economic modes, and social dynamics.