Alfredo E. Evangelista

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Alfredo E. Evangelista (1926 – October 18, 2008) was a Filipino archeologist.[1]


Alfredo Esguerra Evangelista was born in Davao City on September 22, 1926. He also finished his primary and secondary education in Davao City. His parents, Catalino N. Evangelista from Pangasinan and Filomena S. Esguerra from Dumaguete City, initially did not support the idea of Fred as an archaeologist; they wanted him to be a lawyer.

He was married to Perfecta Gonzales.

He continued to head the Anthropology Division of the National Museum of the Philippines until his retirement as its deputy director in 1989.[1]

Alfredo E. Evangelista died at his home in San Pedro, Laguna, on October 18, 2008, at the age of 82.[1]

Educational Background[edit]

Evangelista obtained his bachelor's degree in History from the University of the East in 1953.[2] He then earned his master's degree in anthropology in 1959 from the University of Chicago under the Fulbright Program.[1] He joined the National Museum of the Philippines following his graduation from Chicago.[1]

Evangelista's first encounter with archaeology came to him at the University of the East, when Wilhelm Solheim taught a Social Science course there. It was this encounter that led Evangelista and many other Filipinos to the field of Archaeology.[3]

In November 1949, while an undergraduate student, Evangelista and his classmate Arsenio Manuel were chosen by Wilhelm Solheim to participate in archaeological digs supervised by Professor H. Otley Beyer. He and his team excavated sites from the Bondoc Peninsula up to the Batungan Mountain range in Masbate. There they uncovered pottery specimens dating back to the Neolithic age.[4]

Works and Contributions[edit]

Evangelista's first encounter with archaeology came to him in 1951, when he was in his 20s, to his college when was a student of Wilhelm Solheim, who taught Anthropology. Solheim asked for volunteers that summer to accompany him in the field in Masbate at the Batungan Mountain, Evangelista volunteered, this was where his passion and love for archaeology started. Wilhelm's wife even talked to the Director of the National Museum at that time, Dr. Quisumbing, for Evangelista to become a Laboratory Helper.[3] During the Masbate undertaking, to which they returned to in 1953, they excavated the Makabog Burial-Jar Site together. Evangelista also assisted Solheim when they uncovered the Kalanay Cave Site in 1951 and worked together the entire excavation in 1951 and 1953. .[3]

In 1955 Evangelista excavated a site in Arroceros in Manila, however, no published reports are found. Amid 1956, Evangelista and his fellow National Museum researcher, Robert Fox, The group undertook an archaeological excavation in Bato Caves, Sorsogon in 1956 which yielded a burial jar and stone tool assemblage.[3]

During 1957 Evangelista excavated Carrangla, Nueva Ecija a probable Neolithic jar burial site was known to have lithic tools, however, no porcelain, stoneware or metal, this site is, according to Solheim: "so far inland in northern Luzon has always been a puzzle ."[3]

From August to September 1961 Evangelista attended the Tenth Pacific Science Congress in Honolulu, attended a Philippine conference in late November he talked on the archaeology in the Philippine Islands, growth, development, also its current status and problems, in December Evangelista represented the Philippines at the International Conference on Asian Archaeology in New Delhi and also presented his work on finds in the Philippines showing trade relations with Indian, Chinese and Thai sources.[3]

From July 1973 to August 1991 Wilhelm Solheim visited him in the directors office often and saw that he was very busy in running the museum without the official position, due to the official director disliking Evangelista and thus preventing him from getting promoted. Shortly after his retirement in 1991 he started teaching at the University of Santa Thomas. It is obvious from his Partial Bibliography that I have been able to assemble that he was a very talented man.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Expert on past dies; 82". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 2008-10-21. Archived from the original on 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2008-11-17. Alfredo E. Evangelista, the country's foremost archeologist, died in his San Pedro, Laguna home Saturday. He was 82.
  2. ^ Solheim, Wilhelm II (2009). Alfredo E. Evangelista: 1926-2008. Hukay, 14, 114 - 120.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Solheim II, Wilheim (2009). "Alfredo E. Evangelista: 1926-2008". Hukay. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. 14. I first became acquainted with Fred when he was a student of mine in a Social Science course...
  4. ^ National Museum of the Philippines. The Archaeology Division.