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J Hum Evol. 2008 Dec;55(6):962-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2007.11.007. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

Large cutting tool variation west and east of the Movius Line.

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  • 1Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, Henry Wellcome Building, Fitzwilliam Street, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1QH, England.


Norton et al. (2006) compared "handaxes" from Korea and two basins with Acheulean assemblages (Olorgesailie, Kenya and Hunsgi-Baichbal, India). The authors found significant morphological variance between Eastern and Western handaxes, leading them to conclude that East Asian tool forms were not morphologically similar to typical Acheulean implements. We test this finding using a larger array of localities, and find some metrical overlaps between handaxes and cleavers in the West and East. We indicate the role of convergence in lithic assemblage formation, but we also raise the possibility that handaxes and cleavers in the Luonan Basin (China) may represent evidence for Acheulean stone tool manufacturing methods.

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