How old are the balangays or Butuan Boats?
OLD ENOUGH. The Butuan Boats, as we call them in the National Museum PH, or the “balangays” as it is popularly known, is the oldest archaeological evidence of watercraft in the Philippines.
The boats were likely to have existed around 689-968 or 7th to 10th centuries Before Common Era (B.C.E.) or Before Present (BP), the Radiocarbon-14 dating of their wood samples would say. This means that the trees used to construct the boats are about 800-1,100 years old. Its associated artifacts would further attest that they were used during the age of trade with Asian countries and before Spanish colonialization.
These pre-Hispanic artifacts are one of our National Cultural Treasures showing the ingenuity of our earliest ancestors and evidence of the great maritime and trading activities.
Excited to personally see the Butuan Boat artifacts? Just come and visit our Eastern-Northern Mindanao Regional Museum and the Balangay Site Museum in Butuan.
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