Callao Man

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Callao man
Temporal range: Late Pleistocene,
0.007–0.0065 Ma
Scientific classification (disputed)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Hominidae
Tribe: Hominini
Genus: Homo
Species: Undetermined

Callao man refers to fossilized remains discovered in Callao Cave, Peñablanca, Cagayan, Philippines in 2007 by Armand Salvador Mijares. Specifically, the find consisted of a single 61-millimeter metatarsal which, when dated using uranium series ablation, was found to be about 67,000 years old.[1][2][3][4][5]

As of July 2010, the biological classification of Callao Man is uncertain. The metatarsal bone discovered (Right MT3 — the small bone from the end of the middle toe of the right foot) has been identified as coming from a species of genus Homo, but the exact species classification is uncertain. It has been speculated that Callao Man may be Homo sapiens or Homo floresiensis, though the latter is sometimes considered a pathological specimen of the former.[6] Distinguishing between the two species would require material from the skull or mandible.[7] As of 2012, the team that discovered the bone were seeking permission to search for more bones in the area.[8]


Although the initial theory of human migration to the Philippines proposed the use of land bridges during the last ice age, modern bathymetric readings of the Mindoro Strait and Sibutu Passage suggest that neither would have been fully closed. Therefore, the theory at present is that Callao Man and his contemporaries in Luzon arrived from Sundaland by raft.[9] The timing of Callao Man is very roughly contemporaneous with that during which other Sundalanders are known to have travelled across the more extensive Wallace Line to begin the settlement of New Guinea and Australia.

Butchered animal remains were also found in the same layer of sediment, which indicates that the Callao Man had a degree of knowledge in the use of tools, although no stone tools were found. The bones of the animals were from deer (Cervus mariannus), pigs, and an extinct type of cattle.[10] The lack of stone tools could be explained by the use of organic tools such as bamboo.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Valmero, Anna (August 5, 2010). "Callao man could be ‘oldest’ human in Asia Pacific, says Filipino archaeologist". loqal Science & Education. 
  2. ^ Severino, Howie G. (August 1, 2010). Researchers discover fossil of human older than Tabon Man. GMA News. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  3. ^ Morella, Cecil. (August 3, 2010). 'Callao Man' Could Redraw Filipino History. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved October 21, 2010 from Discovery News.
  4. ^ "Archaeologists unearth 67,000-year-old human bone in Philippines". The Daily Telegraph.
  5. ^ Cite news|url= |title=Callao Man is Philippines' earliest known inhabitant |author= |publisher=AllVoices |date=August 2, 2010.
  6. ^ Michael Tan (July 2, 2010). "Callao Man". Philippine Daily Inquirer. .
  7. ^ Anna Valmero (August 5, 2010). "Callao man could be ‘oldest’ human in Asia Pacific, says Filipino archaeologist". loqal Science & Education. 
  8. ^ Cecil Morella (August 3, 2010). "'Callao Man' could redraw Filipino History". Discovery News. 
  9. ^ "Callao Man" in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  10. ^ Anna Valmero (August 5, 2010). "Callao man could be ‘oldest’ human in Asia Pacific, says Filipino archaeologist". loqal Science & Education.