Manunggul Jar

Manunggul Jar

The Manunggul Jar is a National Treasure of the Philippines. A secondary burial jar, it is designated item 64-MO-74 in the National Museum of the Philippines, Manila. The jar was found in Chamber A of the Manunggul caves in Palawan. The jar is dated from about 2800 years before the present day. The Mannungul Jar was found in the Tabon Cave in Palawan. It was found by Robert Fox and Miguel Santiago. The faces of the figures and on the prow of the boat have eyes and mouth rendered in the same style as other artifacts of Southeast Asia of that period. Note the depiction of sea-waves on the lid. This style of decoration places this jar in the Sa-huýnh-Kalanay Pottery tradition of Southern Vietnam.

The steersman's oar is missing its paddle, as is the mast in the center of the boat, against which the steersman would have braced his feet.This symbolizes that they are traveling to the next life.

  • "Secondary burial was fairly common in the Philippines, and the rest of Southeast Asia until quite recently ..." --p. 40, Wilhelm G. Solheim II, The People and Art of the Philippines

In secondary burial, only bones were placed in the jar, and the jar itself is not buried.


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