What is archaeology? The prehistory of Old Kiyyangan Village
Download the full module:
- Pangkaalaman (comprehension)
- To gain an overview of the prehistory of Old Kiyyangan Village site
- To develop an understanding of how culture and its landscape change over time
- To learn key archaeology terms, methods, and concepts
- Pandamdamin (values)
- To find value in Old Kiyyangan Village as an example of an early Philippine society
- To appreciate early Ifugao culture as it relates to present-day Ifugao society
- Pangkasanayan (proficiency)
- To enhance students’ critical thinking skills and apply observation, reasoning, speaking, and writing skills as part of the activity
- To use artifacts to discover how cultural material help create theories about past people
Old Kiyyangan Village topics discussed in Module 1 that relate to “Kalagayang Panlipunan ng mga Sinaunang Pilipino” (Early Filipino life):
- Change and continuity – what parts of the culture have changed? What continued to be practiced?
- Early Ifugao life: Where, When, and How they lived
Ifugao culture history background
Why should students learn about the Old Kiyyangan Village?
Kiyyangan is significant in Ifugao origin mythology. It is believed to be the original location of where the first Ifugaos lived. It is often mentioned in oral histories, such as the oral account included in this module — Huuwa’n di nabugbugan di Page (Myth of the Origin of Ifugao Rice). Archaeologists believe that the Old Kiyyangan Village is one of the first early Cordilleran villages documented in Philippine archaeology.
Where is the Old Kiyyangan Village?
The Old Kiyyangan Village is between the Ibulao River in the East and the Ambangal stream in the West in what is now Barangay Munggayang.
When did early Ifugaos live there?
The Old Kiyyangan Village was settled about 1000 years ago. It was inhabited before the arrival of the Spanish in the Philippines in 1521. Fray Molano in 1801 reported 183 houses in Kiyyangan, but by the time the Americans came to Ifugao, the people had already abandoned the place and relocated to the current town of Kiangan.
Why did they choose to live there?
Early Ifugaos chose to settle at Old Kiyyangan Village, because of its favorable climate, abundant water supply, and relatively level terrain.
What was Old Kiyyangan Village and How did the people live?
Before Spanish colonization, the inhabitants of Old Kiyyangan Village mainly cultivated and consumed taro and other vegetables and root crops. The presence of taro pond fields early on at Old Kiyyangan Village made it easy for early Ifugaos to transition to wet rice farming about 200 years ago. Rice enabled early Ifugaos to feed more of the community, which eventually became a prestige crop in Ifugao society. Aside from growing and planting crops, they were also hunting deer and wild pigs. They raised farm animals like pigs and chickens for special occasions and ritual ceremonies. The people at Old Kiyyangan Village possessed a variety of cultural materials. Some were made locally and used for every day activities like cooking and storing food and water. Others came from the lowlands through trade and exchange.
Mythology – traditional stories, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events
Oral history – the collection and study of historical information with people having personal knowledge of past events
Archaeologists study histories of past cultures through materials dug out of the ground. Some study the ancient past or prehistory at a time when there were no written records. Researchers in this field look to remaining evidence of this time period from the ground or from the remnants of structures ancient societies left behind. Archaeology applies the scientific method to learn and understand how people lived in prehistory. This method of inquiry first requires observation, asking a question, doing background research, stating a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis by gathering data, analyzing collected data, and finally, explaining the result. Archaeologists primarily gather data by excavating an archaeological site and collecting the artifacts. But archaeologists do far more than just excavate. They must also analyze and interpret all the artifacts they recover in order to better answer questions about people in the past and the lives they led. Through archaeology, we can understand changes through time. Learning about the prehistory of the Old Kiyyangan Village makes us understand changes in the way land was used through time, the changes in Ifugao diet, and the changes in the use of Ifugao cultural materials.
Archaeology – the study of the past through material remains left behind by human activity
Culture – the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time
Prehistory – a period of time before written records
Scientific method – a method of systematic procedures in conducting research that requires observation, asking a question, doing background research, stating a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis, gathering or collecting data, analyzing collected data, and by explaining the result.
Hypothesis – a proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation
Archaeological site – an area or place of archaeological study
Artifacts – material or object made or modified by humans; artifacts are usually portable
Excavate – to extract from the ground by digging