The Archaeology Division was created in April 1988 from the original section under the Anthropology Division from which all archaeological fieldworks and related activities were previously subsumed. This set-up can be traced to the establishment of the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) itself by the Americans in 1901 as the “Insular Museum of Ethnology, Natural History, and Commerce” by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act No. 284. For better management of archaeological activities, the section was expanded to include 40 personnel with its own museum curator, complemented by staff ranging from senior museum researcher, museum researchers, assistant museum researchers, artist-illustrators, museum technicians and clerks. The first museum curator of the division was Mr. Wilfredo P. Ronquillo who served from 1988 until his retirement in 2013, succeeded by Dr. Mary Jane Louise A. Bolunia who has been serving as officer-in-charge from 2013 to the present.

As a new division, it maintains an unwavering dedication to the objective of conducting archaeological researches in terrestrial and underwater sites (which led to the creation of the new Maritime and Underwater Division later on), with the higher goal of placing Philippine archaeological finds in the world’s scientific almanac.  From Batanes in the north all the way to the islands of Tawi-Tawi in the south, archaeological survey and excavations have been carried out and continues to be carried out to further understand Philippine culture through material remains and features.
Read more: Expanded history