Butuan Metal Paleograph

butuan metal paleograph
Butuan Metal Paleograph | @museumxst0ries

Butuan Metal Paleograph 

This artifact was recovered in a wooden coffin associated with 14th and 15th Ming Dynasty trade ware ceramics in the 1970s in Butuan. It was donated by Mr. Leony Benedicto to the National Museum. Mr. Boechart, an Indonesian paleographer, studied the script and found out that this is similar to a Javanese script.

It is a 17.8 cm by 1.3 cm strip of a yet-to-be-identified type of metal.

It represents 22 units of writing on one side of a metal strip similar to a Javanese script that had been in use from the 14th to the 15th centuries AD. The characters display a Hindu-Buddist influence, probably a form of early writing in the Philippines. Writing on metal strips was a common practice in ancient Indonesia, and used as epitaphs in burials.

For being one of its kind and a rare find, the Butuan Metal Paleograph was declared a National Cultural Treasure on June 14, 2010. It is currently exhibited at the Baybayin: Ancient and Traditional Scripts of the Philippines gallery of the National Museum of the Philippines.

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