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Ref ID: 26768
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Dennell, Robin
Title: Life without the Movius Line: The structure of the East and Southeast Asian Early Palaeolithic
Date: 2016
Source: Quaternary International
Abstract: The starting point of this paper is that the Movius Line is no longer an appropriate way of studying the Early Palaeolithic of East and Southeast Asia, and should be disregarded. Instead, it is argued that the Early Palaeolithic of East and Southeast Asia needs to be seen as comparable to that in the rest of Eurasia, rather than the product of an isolated backwater. Contra Movius, East Asia was not isolated throughout the entire Early and Middle Pleistocene, but open to immigration during interglacials, as is indicated by its fossil hominin record. As in Europe and Southwest Asia, both bifacial and non-biface assemblages are present in China and Korea, thus indicating the presence of an Acheulean component, although the lack of agreement over how the Acheulean should be defined creates difficulties in establishing its extent in Southeast Asia. Regarding non-biface assemblages, Zhoukoudian was an unfortunate choice of an East Asian site that lacked bifaces, as bifaces are also rare or absent in a number of caves in Southwest Asia and Europe. Additionally, the absence of bifaces in some sites is not convincingly demonstrated because of the small size of the lithic assemblage. Finally, the simple flake industries in Southeast Asia are likely contemporary with Upper Pleistocene, Middle Palaeolithic and microlithic assemblages in India rather than with Middle Pleistocene, Acheulean assemblages, as proposed by Movius.
Date Created: 4/24/2018
Volume: 400
Page Start: 14
Page End: 22