Discussion:
is this prehispanic archeological find legit?
(too old to reply)
Renowl
2004-04-07 08:22:26 UTC
Permalink
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription
A Philippine Document from 900 A.D.
by Hector Santos
© 1995-96 by Hector Santos
All rights reserved.

Once in a while, an unusual artifact different from anything else previously
found in the area turns up and baffles experts. It usually ends up in a dusty
museum shelf, waiting for the day when somebody will study it, understand its
significance, and reveal its secrets to the world.



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The Laguna Copperplate Inscription (LCI)

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Copperplate
A small, innocent-looking object found in 1989 on the southeastern shore of
Laguna de Ba'y was such a find. It now threatens to upset our basic
understanding of Philippine history. The object is a thin copperplate measuring
less than 8x12 inches in size and is inscribed with small writing that had been
hammered into its surface.
The black, rolled-up piece of metal was found by a man dredging for sand near
the mouth of the Lumbang River where it emptied into Laguna de Ba'y. The man
could just have easily thrown it away as just another piece of junk that tended
to clog his equipment as he tried to make a living. It was not porcelain, like
those he found before and was able to sell for good money to the antique
dealers from Manila.

Those dealers have been frequenting the area because it was a rich source of
artifacts that were in demand among the rich in Manila. These artifacts
provided another welcome source of income for people like this man who
struggled to provide for his family.

Fortunately, the sand man decided to keep that piece of metal and take another
look. Upon unrolling, it turned out that there was some kind of writing on the
crumpled and blackened metal plate. He finally sold it to one of the dealers
for almost nothing for it was unlike anything ever found before and nobody knew
what it was.

Because it was not a recognizable object, the dealer could not find a private
buyer for it. In desperation, he offered it to the National Museum of the
Philippines, normally the buyer of last resort for unsold objects. The copper
object is now called "Laguna Copperplate Inscription" (LCI).

It languished at the National Museum as supposedly qualified scholars passed up
the chance to evaluate the artifact. They were either too busy or not
interested, but perhaps intimidated by the prospect of working on something
they had no knowledge of.

Fortunately, the ability and persistent effort of one man paid off in unlocking
the secrets of the LCI. Antoon Postma, a Dutch national who has lived most of
his life among the Mangyans in the Philippines and the director of the Mangyan
Assistance & Research Center in Panaytayan, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, was
able to translate the writing. His effort is all the more remarkable when you
consider that the text was in a language similar to four languages (Sanskrit,
Old Tagalog, Old Javanese, and Old Malay) mixed together.

The text was written in Kavi, a mysterious script which does not look like the
ancient Tagalog script known as baybayin or alibata. Neither does it look
similar to other Philippine scripts still used today by isolated ethnic
minorities like the Hanunóos and the Buhids of Mindoro, and the Tagbanwas of
Palawan. It is the first artifact of pre-Hispanic origin found in the
Philippines that had writing on copper material.

Indeed, artifacts of pre-Hispanic writing are so rare that only three had been
previously found and made available to researchers. They are the 14-15th
century Butuan silver strip, the 10th century Butuan ivory seal, and the 15th
century Calatagan jar. The writings on these three previous finds have eluded
attempts to decipher them so far.


Important Date
Postma's translation provides a lot of exciting surprises. Like most other
copperplate documents, it gives a very precise date from the Sanskrit calendar
which corresponds to 900 A.D. in our system. It contains placenames that still
exist around the Manila area today. It also lists the names of the chiefs of
the places mentioned.
The date is important because a country's history is considered to begin with
the first dated document recorded in it. This newly found document pushes the
"starting point" of Philippine history all the way back to 900 A.D., 621 years
earlier than the previously accepted date of 1521 when Antonio Pigafetta wrote
his observations during his voyage with Magellan.


Authenticity
The authenticity of the LCI was a prime concern to all from the very beginning.
Postma and the Philippine National Museum were aware of the many frauds that
had been perpetrated on Philippine historians in the past. Many of these
fraudulent historical documents have unfortunately gotten into Philippine
history textbooks which are still being used today.
The most famous of these frauds is the Code of Kalantiaw that every Filipino
schoolboy knows. The supposed text of the code was contained in the Pavón
manuscript, one of the many fraudulent documents passed on to the Philippine
National Museum over many decades by Jose E. Marco, a known philatelic forger.
Damage caused by frauds like this is immeasurable.

More than a quarter century after the fraud was exposed in 1965, the average
Filipino still believes that the Code of Kalantiaw was real. This is not so
much a reflection on the average Filipino's interest in history as it is on the
Philippine government's failure to educate the public. As a matter of fact,
President Marcos was still inducting "deserving" justices into his Order of
Kalantiaw in the 1970's. (This was, perhaps, a fitting way for History to get
back at those who wanted to rewrite it.)

Postma was acutely aware of what yet another phony document would do to the
community of Philippine historians. He sought and got advice from Dutch and
Indonesian experts on the LCI's authenticity. The experts concluded that the
specific script style used in the LCI was consistent with its indicated date,
and that the correctness of the languages and words used would have been very
hard for a forger to have contrived.

Although there were some differences between the LCI and the copperplates found
in Indonesia, they were for legitimate reasons and their consensus was that the
LCI was authentic.

The text on Indonesian copperplates of the same era was mostly in Old Javanese
and, as was customary at that time, mention the name of King Balitung (899-910
A.D.). Unlike its Indonesian cousins, the language of the LCI was not Old
Javanese. That the LCI did not mention the king's name was another clue that
the LCI did not come from Indonesia.

However, the biggest difference was in the way the copperplate was inscribed.
Indonesian copperplates were prepared by heating them until they became soft.
Then a stylus was used to impress the letters on the soft metal, creating
smooth and continuous strokes. The Philippine copperplate, on the other hand,
was inscribed by hammering the letters onto the metal using a sharp instrument.
The letters show closely joined and overlapping dots from the hammering.


Philippine connection
It was left for Postma to establish the LCI's Philippine connection. When he
first saw the LCI, he thought it may originally have come from Indonesia but
made to appear like it was found to the Philippines so that it could be sold as
a valuable antique. The text of the LCI convinced him of its Philippine
provenance.
The LCI was an official document issued to clear a person by the name of
Namwaran, his family, and all their descendants of a debt he had incurred. In
the old Philippines, an unpaid debt usually resulted in slavery not only for
the person concerned but also for his family and his descendants. The amount of
debt was 1 kati and 8 suwarnas of gold (865 g. or about $12,000 at today's
prices), an unusually large amount.

The pardon was issued by the chief of Tundun, who was of higher rank than the
other chiefs who witnessed the document and whose names and respective areas of
jurisdiction are listed. The last sentence on the copperplate is incomplete,
indicating that there was at least one more page to the document.
Unfortunately, none has been found so far.



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Placenames mentioned in the LCI

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Placenames
The placenames mentioned prove the Philippine connection of the LCI. The names
are still recognizable today although almost eleven centuries have passed since
the document was issued. The placenames are Pailah (Paila), Tundun (Tundo),
Puliran (Pulilan), Binwangan (Binwangan), Dewata (Diwata), and Medang (Medang).
The first four places are near Manila but Dewata and Medang pose a problem.
They could have been personal names but more likely "Dewata" was Diwata, a town
near Butuan, and "Medang," Medang in Old Java or Sumatra. Both these places
must have been connected politically to Tundun and the other settlements in 900
A.D.

Diwata is important because in addition to the silver strip mentioned earlier,
there are reportedly some other artifacts with undeciphered ancient
inscriptions that have been found in the Butuan area. Shamefully, like many
other artifacts they are in private hands and unavailable to scholars.

Since the LCI was found in Laguna de Ba'y, Postma first thought that Pailah was
Pila, Laguna and Pulilan was the southeastern area of the lake because that was
what the place was called in the old days. Pila was then a part of the area
known as Pulilan. However, he opted to take Pulilan and Paila both along the
Angat River in Bulacan as better candidates because the document clearly
referred to two separate places, not one inside a larger jurisdiction. A look
at the map would show that his choices are correct since they are more
conveniently connected to each other by the usual river and coastal travel
routes than if he had picked the Laguna area.

Another possible connection to this Bulacan riverine area is the village of
Gatbuca that exists today. Bukah, son of Namwaran, is mentioned in the
document. Gat was a title used for important persons and has found its way into
many contemporary family names (e.g., Gatbonton, Gatmaitan, Gatdula, etc.). It
is possible that the town was named for Bukah when he rose in position later.


Significance
Just how significant is this incomplete document that ends in midsentence and
contains only ten lines?
It means, as we have discussed earlier, that the edge of history has been
pushed back 621 years, giving the Philippines a documented existence among the
ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia like Shri-Vijaya (Sumatra), Angkor
(Kampuchea), Champa (Vietnam), Madjapahit (Java), and others that existed
before the 10th Century.
Ancient Chinese records with placenames like P'u-li-lu, which was thought to
have been Polilio (but didn't make sense), will have to be reevaluated.
Placenames mentioned in the LCI will have to be given more importance when
evaluating ancient records that contain similar sounding names.
From porcelain finds, Manila was thought to have been settled as late as 1200.
It now appears that an earlier date was more likely. Certainly, a search for
other means of dating Manila's first settlements is needed. A search for
artifacts in the places mentioned in the LCI might also prove fruitful.
Earlier historians thought that the Philippines was part of Shri-Vijaya or even
Madjapahit. Their theories have been largely discredited in recent times. It is
now time to reexamine the possible connection.
Historians believe that the Muslims who ruled Manila were the first to
establish more sophisticated forms of government in the area. They also believe
that the Muslims started the trade with Borneo and other points south. It is
possible that the Hindus were in Manila before the Muslims.
The Tagalog script is so rudimentary that it cannot even completely record the
sounds of its own language. Three centuries before the Tagalog script's
emergence, the Manila area used a script so rich and sophisticated that great
empires were ruled through its use. How did this happen? How could a less
sophisticated script have supplanted a better one?
Many interesting scenarios can be created to explain some of the above puzzles.
During the era of the LCI it was not uncommon for settlements to disappear.
They flourished for some time, even for centuries, but things like natural
catastrophes, epidemics, emigration, pirate raids, war, etc. made them
disappear. It is also known that Muslim culture pushed Hindu influence in
Indonesia out of most areas, leaving Bali as the only place where Hindu culture
has survived. Any one of these things could have caused the early settlements
around Manila to disappear.
The disappearance of the earlier people who settled around Manila may explain
why the Kavi script was lost and a lesser one introduced later. But how did the
placenames remain? If a few people remained to maintain a continuity of their
settlements and placenames, how did they lose their knowledge of the Malay
language and the Kavi script?

At this time, everything is conjecture. Many more questions will be asked,
answered, and refuted; other questions will be asked again. Little by little,
we will know more about the Philippines as it was before the Spaniards came,
thanks to a little piece of metal dredged from the sand.

A different version of this article appeared in the September 1994 issue of
Filipinas Magazine.


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More on the LCI
Download LCI graphic. 6.85" wide @ 300 dpi, 67K file.
Download map showing LCI placenames. 7" wide @ 300 dpi, 41K file.
Transliteration of the LCI text. Check this out if you understand the Library
of Congress romanization scheme for Devanagari as applied to Southeast Asian
scripts like Kavi.
Transcription of the LCI text. It does not use special symbols or diacritics
like the above romanization. It is more readable because you can read and
pronounce it just like English.
Postma translation. This is Antoon Postma's December 1992 translation.
Santos translation. This is Hector Santos's April 1995 translation.
Ask about Sulat sa Tansô if you are interested in digging more into the
mysteries of the LCI. It is a newsletter devoted to ancient Philippines.
Back to A Philippine Leaf, your introductory page to ancient Philippines.
To cite:
Santos, Hector. "The Laguna Copperplate Inscription" in A Philippine Leaf at
http://www.bibingka.com/dahon/lci/lci.htm. US, October 26, 1996.

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Please send me your comments. I would love to hear from you.
Hector Santos <***@bibingka.com> Los Angeles
Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 1999
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-07 15:58:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription
A Philippine Document from 900 A.D.
by Hector Santos
© 1995-96 by Hector Santos
All rights reserved.
Once in a while, an unusual artifact different from anything else previously
found in the area turns up and baffles experts. It usually ends up in a dusty
museum shelf, waiting for the day when somebody will study it, understand its
significance, and reveal its secrets to the world.
Both Antoon Postma and Hector Santos used to post here, and they among
many others sparked my interest in visiting this NG.
All the flames that developed between posters here made me shy away for
a long time, it died away. One of the people that goes crazy here before
is your uncle, I think he was a student then.
Renowl
2004-04-08 01:04:34 UTC
Permalink
who?
Congenital Kano
2004-04-08 03:54:53 UTC
Permalink
who?
Sure glad you read what you paste:

The Laguna Copperplate Inscription
A Philippine Document from 900 A.D.
by Hector Santos
© 1995-96 by Hector Santos

Gosh, who could Hector Santos be?

I'm stumped Pig
Renowl
2004-04-08 03:59:26 UTC
Permalink
who is my uncle again ?
Congenital Kano
2004-04-08 05:04:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
who is my uncle again ?
Now. I will be brave. I will be strong. I will not make comments about
filial questions and lack of knowledge thereof.

High road Pig
Dirty Sick Pig
2004-04-08 05:24:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Congenital Kano
Post by Renowl
who is my uncle again ?
Now. I will be brave. I will be strong. I will not make comments about
filial questions and lack of knowledge thereof.
High road Pig
Ans.: Kingkong's midget son by a chihuahua bitch.

I Just Can't Resist I am Weak Pig
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-08 06:13:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
who is my uncle again ?
PKM, something about Kapampangans.
Renowl
2004-04-09 04:40:15 UTC
Permalink
o ok . btw regarding this find. it could be like that israeli find claiming
to be biblical. the material was old, the letter were old but it was fake.
my question is why would a old filipino use brass [ must be expensive that
time] to talk about trivial stuff like debt owed. the material i would
surmise should be used more to talk about rteally momentous stuff and should
involve in its topics important people. but this was really trivial in
topic[ that plate] . so i got a suspicion that its a forgery using old
materials by a very literate person . its just like the code of kalantiaw
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-09 06:20:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
o ok . btw regarding this find. it could be like that israeli find claiming
to be biblical. the material was old, the letter were old but it was fake.
my question is why would a old filipino use brass [ must be expensive that
time] to talk about trivial stuff like debt owed. the material i would
surmise should be used more to talk about rteally momentous stuff and should
involve in its topics important people. but this was really trivial in
topic[ that plate] . so i got a suspicion that its a forgery using old
materials by a very literate person . its just like the code of kalantiaw
Is it brass? I thought it was copper, and copper is plentiful in the
Philippines, even today. Brass and bronze was expensive because
Philippines does not have tin, Malaysia does tho'.

copper documents were found not only in the Philippines but Malaysia and
Indonesia as well, because it stands time. These are legal documents and
the only ones that is done on it.

Notice that it opens in "Greetings" in the form that is common in the
era, not in the way Filipinos would greet people today, or 100 years
ago. The plate was forgotten after being discovered many years before. I
think it is not a forgery. It was also written in the old baybayin form,
where there is no kudlits or plus signs, just continues on with straight
bars to denote end of sentence.
Renowl
2004-04-09 06:26:20 UTC
Permalink
if there is more to be found in laguna bay i am going there next time i will
visit. maybe i will something like lakandulas jockstrap
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-09 06:42:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
if there is more to be found in laguna bay i am going there next time i will
visit. maybe i will something like lakandulas jockstrap
Lakandula was from Manila, he used to live in Malacanang, why do you
think it is named so? Lakan, may lakan diyan, malacan nyang,
maylacañang, malacañang....
Lakan is equivalent to King.


Now you know why it is the place I go to everytime. Another one for you,
Calatagan Batangas was discovered to have burial grounds of ancient
Filipinos, they discovered vases of Chinese and Vietnamese origins,
dated before anyone realized there is trade between Tagalogs and people
in the mainland.
Tagalogs does not have a large population in the area, it is speculated
that they cross the channel from Mindoro to trade in Batangas where they
can drop anchor in peaceful waters(Mindoro has rougher waters on along
the side facing Luzon).
I would like to see where it is, but I couldn't find it when I got there
last year. This year, I just went to Pampanga and Bicol.
Renowl
2004-04-09 06:46:47 UTC
Permalink
what they could do is use sonar on laguna bay and in pasig river since it
used to be where a lot of stuff and traffic going on . or scuba dive in
laguna bay. [ i wouldnt dive in pasig since it will give you cooties.
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-09 07:03:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
what they could do is use sonar on laguna bay and in pasig river since it
used to be where a lot of stuff and traffic going on . or scuba dive in
laguna bay. [ i wouldnt dive in pasig since it will give you cooties.
This is the problem, what you see in Pasig can be found in Laguna Ba-i,
it is pronouced as ba-i not bay. It is Ba-y(Griego I).
The waters is now murky and dying, the level is lower than before, many
settlements along the shores and crap from Manila sludge is on the bottom.
The copper plate was discovered along the muddy shore of the lake. If
you wish we can make a plan in meeting there and dive, I have to warn
you that the bottom of the lake is full of dead vegetation and tree
trunks, and possibly ancient ruins... who knows. Some people have tried
this already and it is both dangerous and hard to see.
Renowl
2004-04-09 07:06:01 UTC
Permalink
how deep, how bad the debris hows the undertow? my best prend who is into
diving might go with me in january.[ i dont dive] i can dig thu.
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-09 07:13:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
how deep, how bad the debris hows the undertow? my best prend who is into
diving might go with me in january.[ i dont dive] i can dig thu.
Debris is bad, undertow? not too bad, but you cannot see very well, so
the debris can get in the way and trap the diver. In fact, I believe
that is why a plan was abandoned to dive there, searching for artifacts.
Renowl
2004-04-09 07:17:10 UTC
Permalink
thats why some rich filipino should finance using sonar to map the bottom
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-09 07:47:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
thats why some rich filipino should finance using sonar to map the bottom
Be careful, you can try it.
Renowl
2004-04-09 07:58:34 UTC
Permalink
why not have congenital do it. he is rich. nahh hell just make himself
spokesman of the illongos, the cebuanos, the tagalogs, bicolans, warays,
muslims and the tarsiers.
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-09 08:00:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
why not have congenital do it. he is rich. nahh hell just make himself
spokesman of the illongos, the cebuanos, the tagalogs, bicolans, warays,
muslims and the tarsiers.
He would be the first to admit, he cannot speak for Filipinos, only for
his wife.
Renowl
2004-04-09 08:05:55 UTC
Permalink
im not too sure the way he likes to talk it makes me suspect he got some
irish in him and maybe he is related to mahoney. hehehe. me i am an esl that
needs to cut and post just to get my point across or i end up in grunts
and grimaces like barok
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-09 08:11:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
im not too sure the way he likes to talk it makes me suspect he got some
irish in him and maybe he is related to mahoney. hehehe. me i am an esl that
needs to cut and post just to get my point across or i end up in grunts
and grimaces like barok
Nope, Filipinos likes to talk as well, this is something that is a
phenom in Philippines, the proliferation of reading materials even
before the Spaniards arrived. They found more women reading poetry and
short stories than men, meaning, so do men!
Renowl
2004-04-09 08:19:11 UTC
Permalink
me i like to listen in drinking sessions so i can eat all their pulutan while
they talk. makes me popular since i have a reputation of being matakaw
Renowl
2004-04-10 05:24:44 UTC
Permalink
regarding the israeli ossuary find. here how they determined why it was
fake even if dating says its old.


From the first century B.C. to about A.D. 70, it was the Jewish burial custom
to place their dead in a cave for a year, then retrieve the bones and put them
in an ossuary—also known as a bone box. Several hundred bone boxes from that
era have been found; some ornately carved, some plain, some with feet, some
not.

The box in question caused a sensation because it bears the inscription "James,
son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."

The find was first described in the November/December 2002 issue of the
Biblical Archaeological Review by Andre Lemaire, a paleographer at the Sorbonne
University in Paris, (École Pratique des Hautes Études). He dated the box,
which was empty, to A.D. 63.

His report sparked a spate of controversy among biblical scholars and
archaeologists. If the 2,000-year-old ossuary were genuine, it would be the
first archaeological proof that Jesus existed. Up until now, all references to
the three men have been found only in manuscripts.

The authenticity of the ossuary itself was generally accepted, but many
scholars questioned whether all or part of the inscription was a forgery.

In April the Israel Antiquities Authority formed two committees to examine the
evidence. One was assigned the task of examining "the scientific aspects in the
writing and style [to be able to] confirm the authenticity of the writing;" the
other was tasked with verifying the "originality of the patina" on the stone's
engraving and the stone material itself.

The committees released their unanimous findings Wednesday: the box itself may
be correctly dated, but the inscription was added at a later date.

"The inscription appears new, written in modernity by someone attempting to
reproduce ancient written characters," the agency announced.

"There doesn't appear to be anything new in the report, either in terms of
evidence or argument," said Ben Witherington, a New Testament professor at
Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. "And they haven't looked at
or taken into account the Toronto evidence."

A conference of biblical scholars took place in December at the Royal Ontario
Museum, allowing a large number of antiquities professionals to look at the
box, and many were convinced of its authenticity, he said. The box also
underwent laboratory testing in Toronto and was examined using mass
spectrometry, ultraviolet light, and other tests.

Question of Authenticity

The artifact's lack of provenance had always been a red flag to many scholars.
To antiquities specialists, knowing where something was originally found
provides a wealth of clues that can be used to authenticate an object.

Lemaire discovered the ossuary while examining the collection of Oded Golan, an
engineer in Tel Aviv with a passion for relics from biblical times. Golan
purchased the artifact from a Jerusalem-based dealer in the 1970s. However,
Golan's reputation as a collector is "questionable."

"The dealer who sold it was a man of questionable reputation who had a history
of inappropriate dealings with various museums and government agencies," Eric
Meyers, an archaeologist at Duke University, told National Geographic several
months ago.

Meyers doesn't question whether the box is genuine and dates back to the first
century. But he never believed the inscription was authentic.

In addition to provenance, doubts arose because half of the inscription had
been cleaned at some point in time. The break comes at the word "brother." The
"brother of Jesus" part of the inscription also looks to be written in a
slightly more cursive form than the beginning of the inscription.

The box was originally tested in Israel by scientists at the Geological Survey
Group, who judged it to be about 2,000 years old, and carved from Jerusalem
limestone. The Antiquities Authority committee suggests that it's possible the
stone from which it was hewn originated in Cyprus or northern Syria.

"All they seem to have looked at is the patina issue. No one is doubting that
this is an ancient Jewish ossuary," said Witherington, who is co-author of The
Brother of Jesus. "Nor is anybody arguing about whether the inscription is more
recent than the ossuary. I think we're talking about a reused ossuary, which
would account for some of the discrepancies in weathering." The book, published
March 18, describes the find itself, and what it tells us about biblical times
and the origins of Christianity.

"Even if it was [made of stone quarried outside of Jerusalem], what difference
would that make? We know the people of the times carted cedars from Lebanon to
Jerusalem to use in building the temple; why wouldn't stone masons bring in
good quality stone?"
Renowl
2004-04-10 05:29:40 UTC
Permalink
However, when artifacts emerge on the scene quite apart from archaeological
digs, experts rightly question authenticity. Further, when an owner can't prove
provenance of an artifact and lacks a certifiable history of the item's
origins, there's reason to wonder where the artifact came from. Artifacts
without documentation that are promoted by dealers or private collectors
require informed impartial scrutiny. Looted artifacts also find their way into
the clandestine international antiquities market.
Antiquities from the distant past are difficult to date precisely. The time
span during which materials like papyrus, bone, stone, pottery and glass age
can be measured, but not with absolute precision. Usually, when artifacts
emerge in the course of an archaeological expedition, documentation accompanies
the discoveries.
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-10 05:45:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
However, when artifacts emerge on the scene quite apart from archaeological
digs, experts rightly question authenticity. Further, when an owner can't prove
provenance of an artifact and lacks a certifiable history of the item's
origins, there's reason to wonder where the artifact came from. Artifacts
without documentation that are promoted by dealers or private collectors
require informed impartial scrutiny. Looted artifacts also find their way into
the clandestine international antiquities market.
Antiquities from the distant past are difficult to date precisely. The time
span during which materials like papyrus, bone, stone, pottery and glass age
can be measured, but not with absolute precision. Usually, when artifacts
emerge in the course of an archaeological expedition, documentation accompanies
the discoveries.
I know someone who is famous in creating antiques, he is from antique
BTW. And his children are all re-creations....
jokes aside, he can make something new looking real old, he has a shop
in Mabini street.
Renowl
2004-04-10 05:50:09 UTC
Permalink
was the copper plate checked by outside sources?
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-10 06:13:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
was the copper plate checked by outside sources?
It was checked by many, it is genuine. Like I said, to check the plate
one must translate and the language used if one can fake the way it is
written would give away the time it was made.
The words are no longer used, in fact there is a lot of indications that
the language has more "Hindu" influences than Islamic, meaning it is
older than 13th century.
You can deduce this by the word used as greeting for example and the
many references using Hindu words. Words like diwata as another example.
Norman G. Owen
2004-04-14 05:18:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by tansong tumbaga
Post by Renowl
was the copper plate checked by outside sources?
It was checked by many, it is genuine. Like I said, to check the plate
one must translate and the language used if one can fake the way it is
written would give away the time it was made.
The words are no longer used, in fact there is a lot of indications that
the language has more "Hindu" influences than Islamic, meaning it is
older than 13th century.
You can deduce this by the word used as greeting for example and the
many references using Hindu words. Words like diwata as another example.
I'd like to endorse t.t.'s explanation here. Among those who endorsed
the LCI (Laguna Copper Inscription) find was Prof. J.G. de Casparis,
under whom I studied at London 40 years ago! An extremely learned and
honest man; he might have been mistaken (as any of us might), but he
would certainly not be part of any fraud.

Someone asked why the inscription recorded something as trivial as a
debt. A debt of nearly one kilo of gold is hardly trivial, especially
if it may have been equivalent to the freedom (or slavery!) of the
family in question.

Norman Owen
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-14 13:30:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by tansong tumbaga
Post by Renowl
was the copper plate checked by outside sources?
It was checked by many, it is genuine. Like I said, to check the plate
one must translate and the language used if one can fake the way it is
written would give away the time it was made.
The words are no longer used, in fact there is a lot of indications that
the language has more "Hindu" influences than Islamic, meaning it is
older than 13th century.
You can deduce this by the word used as greeting for example and the
many references using Hindu words. Words like diwata as another example.
I'd like to endorse t.t.'s explanation here. Among those who endorsed
the LCI (Laguna Copper Inscription) find was Prof. J.G. de Casparis,
under whom I studied at London 40 years ago! An extremely learned and
honest man; he might have been mistaken (as any of us might), but he
would certainly not be part of any fraud.
Someone asked why the inscription recorded something as trivial as a
debt. A debt of nearly one kilo of gold is hardly trivial, especially
if it may have been equivalent to the freedom (or slavery!) of the
family in question.
Norman Owen
The place names mentioned lie Tundun for example, still exist but with
more "modern" spelling like Tondo. Interesting, because it indicates the
reach of Manila's influence during that period.
Orin Oríg
2004-04-14 13:50:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by tansong tumbaga
The place names mentioned lie Tundun for example, still exist but with
more "modern" spelling like Tondo. Interesting, because it indicates the
reach of Manila's influence during that period.
Why not? Laguna is not too far away from Manila. The Chinese reached the
Philippines soil during that time using boats.

The ancient Filipinos maybe dumb, but I know they can walk from Ilocos to
Bicol.

Marco Polo claimed he walked from Italy to China. I beginning to doubt it
now. Maybe he traveled by palenquin.

Orinello
tansong tumbaga
2004-04-14 14:34:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by tansong tumbaga
The place names mentioned lie Tundun for example, still exist but with
more "modern" spelling like Tondo. Interesting, because it indicates the
reach of Manila's influence during that period.
Why not? Laguna is not too far away from Manila. The Chinese reached the
Philippines soil during that time using boats.
Using boats to go to Laguna thorugh Pasig, this is the way it was done.
What is interesting is the reach of a Datu from Tondo, Tondo has
tributaries of Pasig river but it would take days to get there and
Laguna has its own datus.
Post by Orin Oríg
The ancient Filipinos maybe dumb, but I know they can walk from Ilocos to
Bicol.
Ancient Filipinos, if you can call them FIlipinos, aren't dumb, it is
the modern Filipinos who are dumb allowing idiots to run the country.
Post by Orin Oríg
Marco Polo claimed he walked from Italy to China. I beginning to doubt it
now. Maybe he traveled by palenquin.
Orinello
He travelled by horse, camels and boats.

Norman G. Owen
2004-04-13 05:46:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Renowl
who?
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription
A Philippine Document from 900 A.D.
by Hector Santos
© 1995-96 by Hector Santos
Gosh, who could Hector Santos be?
I'm stumped Pig
Yes, the Laguna copperplate inscription is legit, or at least is
regarded as such by those most expert in the field. Very interesting
in terms of what it does (and doesn't) say about the Philippines
several centuries before the Spanish came.

Norman Owen
Pook
2004-04-13 07:57:15 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 13 Apr 2004 13:46:32 +0800, "Norman G. Owen"
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Renowl
who?
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription
A Philippine Document from 900 A.D.
by Hector Santos
c 1995-96 by Hector Santos
Gosh, who could Hector Santos be?
I'm stumped Pig
Yes, the Laguna copperplate inscription is legit, or at least is
regarded as such by those most expert in the field. Very interesting
in terms of what it does (and doesn't) say about the Philippines
several centuries before the Spanish came.
Norman Owen
I thought there was some documents indicating that Philippines and the
Filipinos have existing trade with Arabs, Chinese and the Indonesian
prior to the arrival of the Spaniards.

The Spaniards did found some porcelein, a small Chinese community and
an existing harbor in Manila that has trade with Arabs
Orin Oríg
2004-04-13 13:35:19 UTC
Permalink
The Mayon Volcano already existed one thousand years ago. And I have no
doubt that the Philippines have a history of its own.

But where is it?

Orinello
Post by Pook
On Tue, 13 Apr 2004 13:46:32 +0800, "Norman G. Owen"
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Renowl
who?
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription
A Philippine Document from 900 A.D.
by Hector Santos
c 1995-96 by Hector Santos
Gosh, who could Hector Santos be?
I'm stumped Pig
Yes, the Laguna copperplate inscription is legit, or at least is
regarded as such by those most expert in the field. Very interesting
in terms of what it does (and doesn't) say about the Philippines
several centuries before the Spanish came.
Norman Owen
I thought there was some documents indicating that Philippines and the
Filipinos have existing trade with Arabs, Chinese and the Indonesian
prior to the arrival of the Spaniards.
The Spaniards did found some porcelein, a small Chinese community and
an existing harbor in Manila that has trade with Arabs
Orin Oríg
2004-04-13 13:51:08 UTC
Permalink
I don't think the Philippine archipelago just pop-up from the ocean when
Magellan landed in Homonhon Island in 1521 A.D.

They are many copper mines in the island and I am not suprised that they
found documents written on copper.

But how sure are they? It could be just a street sign circa 900 A.D. that
says, "Pansol - 20 km"

Or maybe it is another fragment of document similar to the Dead Sea Sroll
left behind by the lost tribe of Israel from China?

Well, who knows? The Lord works in a very mysterious way.


Orinello
Post by Orin Oríg
The Mayon Volcano already existed one thousand years ago. And I have no
doubt that the Philippines have a history of its own.
But where is it?
Orinello
Post by Pook
On Tue, 13 Apr 2004 13:46:32 +0800, "Norman G. Owen"
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Renowl
who?
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription
A Philippine Document from 900 A.D.
by Hector Santos
c 1995-96 by Hector Santos
Gosh, who could Hector Santos be?
I'm stumped Pig
Yes, the Laguna copperplate inscription is legit, or at least is
regarded as such by those most expert in the field. Very interesting
in terms of what it does (and doesn't) say about the Philippines
several centuries before the Spanish came.
Norman Owen
I thought there was some documents indicating that Philippines and the
Filipinos have existing trade with Arabs, Chinese and the Indonesian
prior to the arrival of the Spaniards.
The Spaniards did found some porcelein, a small Chinese community and
an existing harbor in Manila that has trade with Arabs
Norman G. Owen
2004-04-14 05:13:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Orin Oríg
I don't think the Philippine archipelago just pop-up from the ocean when
Magellan landed in Homonhon Island in 1521 A.D.
They are many copper mines in the island and I am not suprised that they
found documents written on copper.
But how sure are they? It could be just a street sign circa 900 A.D. that
says, "Pansol - 20 km"
Or maybe it is another fragment of document similar to the Dead Sea Sroll
left behind by the lost tribe of Israel from China?
Well, who knows? The Lord works in a very mysterious way.
Orinello
Who knows? Anton Postma, that's who. He translated the inscription in
the early 1990s, and published this translation in PHILIPPINE STUDIES, I
believe. It's 10 lines long, and covers these basic points (here
greatly abbreaviated):
1) On such-and-such a date in (AD) 900
2) Lady Angkatan (the wife of Namwran) appeared
3) Before the chief of Tondo & scribe
4) to record that Namwran
5) was totally cleared of a debt of around 1 kg of gold
6) in front of certain witnesses (named)
7) the debt had been owed to the Chief of Dewata
8) representing the Chief of Mdang
9) Namwran's descendents are cleared of this debt forever
10) this document is final and should not be challenged.

Obviously it leaves many many questions unanswered, but it's not just a
street sign!
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
The Mayon Volcano already existed one thousand years ago. And I have no
doubt that the Philippines have a history of its own.
But where is it?
Orinello
It is being written by Scott, Patanne, Jocano, Laura Lee Junker, and
other serious scholars, doing the best they can with the sources
available. No fictitious "Code of Kalantiaw," but the best evidence
that we have, whether from archeology or documents.

Norman Owen
Orin Oríg
2004-04-14 13:25:19 UTC
Permalink
Gold! I thought so. This is what the Chinese pirates looted in ancient
Philippines.

In my high school "Oriental History", it claimed that the Chinese went to an
island south of Japan for the gold.

I forgot the name of the island.

But in the movie "Gamera," this island belongs to the Goto archipelago.

Oke, oke?

Orinello
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
I don't think the Philippine archipelago just pop-up from the ocean when
Magellan landed in Homonhon Island in 1521 A.D.
They are many copper mines in the island and I am not suprised that they
found documents written on copper.
But how sure are they? It could be just a street sign circa 900 A.D. that
says, "Pansol - 20 km"
Or maybe it is another fragment of document similar to the Dead Sea Sroll
left behind by the lost tribe of Israel from China?
Well, who knows? The Lord works in a very mysterious way.
Orinello
Who knows? Anton Postma, that's who. He translated the inscription in
the early 1990s, and published this translation in PHILIPPINE STUDIES, I
believe. It's 10 lines long, and covers these basic points (here
1) On such-and-such a date in (AD) 900
2) Lady Angkatan (the wife of Namwran) appeared
3) Before the chief of Tondo & scribe
4) to record that Namwran
5) was totally cleared of a debt of around 1 kg of gold
6) in front of certain witnesses (named)
7) the debt had been owed to the Chief of Dewata
8) representing the Chief of Mdang
9) Namwran's descendents are cleared of this debt forever
10) this document is final and should not be challenged.
Obviously it leaves many many questions unanswered, but it's not just a
street sign!
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
The Mayon Volcano already existed one thousand years ago. And I have no
doubt that the Philippines have a history of its own.
But where is it?
Orinello
It is being written by Scott, Patanne, Jocano, Laura Lee Junker, and
other serious scholars, doing the best they can with the sources
available. No fictitious "Code of Kalantiaw," but the best evidence
that we have, whether from archeology or documents.
Norman Owen
Orin Oríg
2004-04-14 13:35:43 UTC
Permalink
To think about it . . . maybe this island south of Japan was the island that
the Italian explorer Columbus was looking for.

In the modern version of Columbus exploration, he did not discover the
shortest way to America but the shortest way to China.

Columbus went seeking for the gold in Hispanola and in some other islands
south of Florida.

Is there any evidence that may show that Columbus claimed that he also
discovered the shortest route to Japan?

Maybe the Just JT group could bull shit here.


Orinello
Post by Orin Oríg
Gold! I thought so. This is what the Chinese pirates looted in ancient
Philippines.
In my high school "Oriental History", it claimed that the Chinese went to an
island south of Japan for the gold.
I forgot the name of the island.
But in the movie "Gamera," this island belongs to the Goto archipelago.
Oke, oke?
Orinello
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
I don't think the Philippine archipelago just pop-up from the ocean when
Magellan landed in Homonhon Island in 1521 A.D.
They are many copper mines in the island and I am not suprised that they
found documents written on copper.
But how sure are they? It could be just a street sign circa 900 A.D.
that
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
says, "Pansol - 20 km"
Or maybe it is another fragment of document similar to the Dead Sea
Sroll
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
left behind by the lost tribe of Israel from China?
Well, who knows? The Lord works in a very mysterious way.
Orinello
Who knows? Anton Postma, that's who. He translated the inscription in
the early 1990s, and published this translation in PHILIPPINE STUDIES, I
believe. It's 10 lines long, and covers these basic points (here
1) On such-and-such a date in (AD) 900
2) Lady Angkatan (the wife of Namwran) appeared
3) Before the chief of Tondo & scribe
4) to record that Namwran
5) was totally cleared of a debt of around 1 kg of gold
6) in front of certain witnesses (named)
7) the debt had been owed to the Chief of Dewata
8) representing the Chief of Mdang
9) Namwran's descendents are cleared of this debt forever
10) this document is final and should not be challenged.
Obviously it leaves many many questions unanswered, but it's not just a
street sign!
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
The Mayon Volcano already existed one thousand years ago. And I
have
Post by Orin Oríg
no
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
doubt that the Philippines have a history of its own.
But where is it?
Orinello
It is being written by Scott, Patanne, Jocano, Laura Lee Junker, and
other serious scholars, doing the best they can with the sources
available. No fictitious "Code of Kalantiaw," but the best evidence
that we have, whether from archeology or documents.
Norman Owen
Orin Oríg
2004-04-14 13:40:17 UTC
Permalink
I know . . . I know . . .

The Holy Pope during Columbus time can order my execution for doubting the
discovery of a white man.

Heretic!


Orinello
Post by Orin Oríg
To think about it . . . maybe this island south of Japan was the island that
the Italian explorer Columbus was looking for.
In the modern version of Columbus exploration, he did not discover the
shortest way to America but the shortest way to China.
Columbus went seeking for the gold in Hispanola and in some other islands
south of Florida.
Is there any evidence that may show that Columbus claimed that he also
discovered the shortest route to Japan?
Maybe the Just JT group could bull shit here.
Orinello
Post by Orin Oríg
Gold! I thought so. This is what the Chinese pirates looted in ancient
Philippines.
In my high school "Oriental History", it claimed that the Chinese went
to
Post by Orin Oríg
an
Post by Orin Oríg
island south of Japan for the gold.
I forgot the name of the island.
But in the movie "Gamera," this island belongs to the Goto archipelago.
Oke, oke?
Orinello
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
I don't think the Philippine archipelago just pop-up from the ocean
when
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
Magellan landed in Homonhon Island in 1521 A.D.
They are many copper mines in the island and I am not suprised that
they
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
found documents written on copper.
But how sure are they? It could be just a street sign circa 900 A.D.
that
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
says, "Pansol - 20 km"
Or maybe it is another fragment of document similar to the Dead Sea
Sroll
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
left behind by the lost tribe of Israel from China?
Well, who knows? The Lord works in a very mysterious way.
Orinello
Who knows? Anton Postma, that's who. He translated the inscription in
the early 1990s, and published this translation in PHILIPPINE STUDIES, I
believe. It's 10 lines long, and covers these basic points (here
1) On such-and-such a date in (AD) 900
2) Lady Angkatan (the wife of Namwran) appeared
3) Before the chief of Tondo & scribe
4) to record that Namwran
5) was totally cleared of a debt of around 1 kg of gold
6) in front of certain witnesses (named)
7) the debt had been owed to the Chief of Dewata
8) representing the Chief of Mdang
9) Namwran's descendents are cleared of this debt forever
10) this document is final and should not be challenged.
Obviously it leaves many many questions unanswered, but it's not just a
street sign!
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
The Mayon Volcano already existed one thousand years ago. And I
have
Post by Orin Oríg
no
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
doubt that the Philippines have a history of its own.
But where is it?
Orinello
It is being written by Scott, Patanne, Jocano, Laura Lee Junker, and
other serious scholars, doing the best they can with the sources
available. No fictitious "Code of Kalantiaw," but the best evidence
that we have, whether from archeology or documents.
Norman Owen
Orin Oríg
2004-04-14 14:08:06 UTC
Permalink
OK . . . On the serious tone, the reason I made a joke about the street sign
"Pansol - 20 km" is because there are hot springs in Pansol, Laguna.

Some geologists claim that the presence of hot springs indicate the
existence of an ancient volcano . . . about a million year old.

I am just trying to point out on my previous post that the Philippine
archipelago did not pop-up in the Pacific Ocean when the Chinese or the
Spaniards got there.

I apologize to the archeological community.


Orinello
Post by Orin Oríg
I know . . . I know . . .
The Holy Pope during Columbus time can order my execution for doubting the
discovery of a white man.
Heretic!
Orinello
Post by Orin Oríg
To think about it . . . maybe this island south of Japan was the island
that
Post by Orin Oríg
the Italian explorer Columbus was looking for.
In the modern version of Columbus exploration, he did not discover the
shortest way to America but the shortest way to China.
Columbus went seeking for the gold in Hispanola and in some other islands
south of Florida.
Is there any evidence that may show that Columbus claimed that he also
discovered the shortest route to Japan?
Maybe the Just JT group could bull shit here.
Orinello
Post by Orin Oríg
Gold! I thought so. This is what the Chinese pirates looted in ancient
Philippines.
In my high school "Oriental History", it claimed that the Chinese went
to
Post by Orin Oríg
an
Post by Orin Oríg
island south of Japan for the gold.
I forgot the name of the island.
But in the movie "Gamera," this island belongs to the Goto
archipelago.
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
Oke, oke?
Orinello
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
I don't think the Philippine archipelago just pop-up from the ocean
when
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
Magellan landed in Homonhon Island in 1521 A.D.
They are many copper mines in the island and I am not suprised that
they
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
found documents written on copper.
But how sure are they? It could be just a street sign circa 900 A.D.
that
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
says, "Pansol - 20 km"
Or maybe it is another fragment of document similar to the Dead Sea
Sroll
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
left behind by the lost tribe of Israel from China?
Well, who knows? The Lord works in a very mysterious way.
Orinello
Who knows? Anton Postma, that's who. He translated the inscription
in
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Norman G. Owen
the early 1990s, and published this translation in PHILIPPINE
STUDIES,
Post by Orin Oríg
I
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Norman G. Owen
believe. It's 10 lines long, and covers these basic points (here
1) On such-and-such a date in (AD) 900
2) Lady Angkatan (the wife of Namwran) appeared
3) Before the chief of Tondo & scribe
4) to record that Namwran
5) was totally cleared of a debt of around 1 kg of gold
6) in front of certain witnesses (named)
7) the debt had been owed to the Chief of Dewata
8) representing the Chief of Mdang
9) Namwran's descendents are cleared of this debt forever
10) this document is final and should not be challenged.
Obviously it leaves many many questions unanswered, but it's not
just
Post by Orin Oríg
a
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Norman G. Owen
street sign!
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
The Mayon Volcano already existed one thousand years ago. And I
have
Post by Orin Oríg
no
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Orin Oríg
Post by Orin Oríg
doubt that the Philippines have a history of its own.
But where is it?
Orinello
It is being written by Scott, Patanne, Jocano, Laura Lee Junker, and
other serious scholars, doing the best they can with the sources
available. No fictitious "Code of Kalantiaw," but the best evidence
that we have, whether from archeology or documents.
Norman Owen
Norman G. Owen
2004-04-14 05:04:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pook
On Tue, 13 Apr 2004 13:46:32 +0800, "Norman G. Owen"
Post by Norman G. Owen
Post by Renowl
who?
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription
A Philippine Document from 900 A.D.
by Hector Santos
c 1995-96 by Hector Santos
Gosh, who could Hector Santos be?
I'm stumped Pig
Yes, the Laguna copperplate inscription is legit, or at least is
regarded as such by those most expert in the field. Very interesting
in terms of what it does (and doesn't) say about the Philippines
several centuries before the Spanish came.
Norman Owen
I thought there was some documents indicating that Philippines and the
Filipinos have existing trade with Arabs, Chinese and the Indonesian
prior to the arrival of the Spaniards.
The Spaniards did found some porcelein, a small Chinese community and
an existing harbor in Manila that has trade with Arabs
I certainly never meant to imply that there was no evidence about the
pre-Hispanic Philippines before the discovery of the Laguna copperplate
inscription! In fact, W.H. Scott wrote an entire book on just this
subject (PREHISPANIC SOURCE MATERIALS), as have Filipino scholars like
F. Landa Jocano and E.P. Patanne. There are clear references to the
Philippines in numerous Chinese sources and somewhat less clear
references in sources from many other countries; there is much
archeological evidence of contact between the Philippines and other
parts of Asia; and there are detailed descriptions by the early
Spaniards, who describe local Filipino societies in regular contact with
the rest of Asia.

The Laguna inscription is significant, however, because it is quite
early (10th century) and because it appears actually to be written _by_
Filipinos, not just _about_ them, as the above-mentioned sources were.

Norman Owen
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