Filling the Gaps in Ceramic Knowledge: Evidence From Unpublished Shipwreck Investigations in the Philippines

National Museum of the Philippines, Philippines

Since the 1980s, the National Museum of the Philippines has carried out more than 50 underwater explorations and excavations all around the country. While a number of these investigations have been published in various academic and general venues, there are a number of short-term, small-scale maritime investigations that recovered Asian ceramics that have never been exposed to extensive archaeological scrutiny. This paper will discuss some of these sites, including San Antonio (13th century); Isla Verde, Gujangan, and Puerto Galera (16th century); the Manila galleon San Jose (17th century); and Amungan and Guay Point (18th century). The ceramic cargoes may provide crucial information that will aid in building more comprehensive ceramic typologies that may help elucidate maritime patterns trade and exchange, not only in the Philippines, but more broadly across the Southeast Asian region.