Prof Armand Salvador B. Mijares is a renowned archaeologist, whose discoveries have led to the identification of a new human-related species. A Professor of Archaeology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Armand specialises in early human migration from Africa to Southeast Asia. He gained global recognition in 2019 after he and his team discovered the bones of two adults and a child during multiple archaeological digs in Callao Cave, from a previously unknown human-related species now called Homo luzonensis. Through uranium-series dating, the bones were found to be 50,000 to 67,000 years old – making them the earliest human remains to be discovered in the Philippines.
Armand’s passion for archaeology began in the 1990s, when he started working at the National Museum of the Philippines, and then completed his Diploma in Archaeology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman’s newly established Archaeological Studies Program. He went on to complete further postgraduate studies in the USA, on a Fulbright Scholarship, before coming to Australia in 2002 to start his PhD in Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology at the Australian National University. He returned to his alma mater at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2006, to teach and work within the faculty, while continuing his archaeological field work.
During the average year Armand spends two intense months each summer excavating artefacts and fossils, followed by months of meticulous analysis. As he continues to pursue new sites and new discoveries he is also focused on training the next generation of students, to lead the excavations and discoveries of the future.