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Chinese Studies Public Lectures

November 14, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Manoa Campus, Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room)

Wednesday, November 14, 12:00 noon

Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319)

Christopher J. Bae, Associate Professor of Anthropology, UHM

“The Movius Line: Then and Now”

Abstract: In Paleolithic archaeology the oldest stone tools date to about 2.6 million years ago. This stone tool technology is referred to as the Oldowan and is represented by the simplest core and flake industries. About 1.7 million years ago, a new type of stone tool industry appears in the archaeological record: Acheulean. This more recent stone tool industry is represented by bifacially worked handaxes and cleavers; most would consider the Acheulean to be a more sophisticated stone tool technology than the older Oldowan. In the 1940s the eminent Paleolithic archaeologist Hallam Movius plotted the locations of Acheulean sites and Oldowan-type sites then known throughout the Old World. The primary pattern that appeared was that all of the Acheulean sites were found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. In East and Southeast Asia only Oldowan sites were found, with the best known region at that time being China. An arbitrary line was drawn separating the Oldowan-only region and the Acheulean region. This arbitrary line came to be known as the “Movius Line”. The focus of this talk will be on the Movius Line, how it was originally defined, how the line has evolved over the past three quarters of a century, and where we currently stand with the line (i.e., whether the line should be discarded, should continue as is, or whether it needs to be modified). Recent findings from China have important implications for what to do with the Movius Line.

About the Speaker: Christopher J. Bae is a paleoanthropologist who is focused on developing a deeper understanding of the eastern Asian human evolutionary record, in particular, China, Korea, and Japan. Bae received his PhD from Rutgers University and conducted research in China as part of his PhD dissertation project. Prior to coming to the UHM, he spent two years living and conducting research in China on a postdoctoral fellowship and continues to conduct research there, primarily in southern China, though he is involved with other projects in other regions of China. Bae has published more than 50 articles in such top ranked anthropology journals as the Journal of Human Evolution, Evolutionary Anthropology, Current Anthropology, Antiquity, and Journal of Archaeological Science. He has also edited one volume [Asian Paleoanthropology (2010, Springer Press)] and two special issues of the journal Quaternary International (2010, in Press). Most recently, Bae was awarded the University of Hawai‘i 2012 Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research.

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Event Sponsor
Center for Chinese Studies & Confucius Institute at UHM, Manoa Campus

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Daniel, 956-8891,

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