The First East-West Dichotomy?

Author(s): David Clinnick

Year: 2018


Hallam Movius proposed that the Lower Palaeolithic cultures of East Asia and SE Asia were derived from a different cultural trajectory than that of Europe and Africa. The chopper-chopping tool complex of East and SE Asia was argued to be more primitive in many aspects. The type-site assemblages of the Pacitanian and Tampanian cultures are two out of only five assemblages that Movius initially used to define the chopper-chopping tool complex. The Pacitanian was first discovered by Michael Tweedie of the Raffles Museum, Singapore, and Gustav von Koenigswald in 1935 in the Pacitan Regency of Java. Three years later, a scientific team, including Movius, travelled to Java to investigate Tweedie and von Koenigswald’s findings. Also in 1938, Michael Tweedie’s colleague at the Raffles Museum, H. D. Collings, published an article in Nature announcing a discovery of a similar archaeological assemblage in Malaysia that he named the Tampanian. This presentation provides a reassessment of the original Pacitanian and Tampanian assemblages that are still held in Singapore, highlighting reduction strategies that have been overlooked since the 1930’s and how the postcolonial history of scientific research in Singapore coupled with the dominance of Movius’s analysis may have led to this oversight.

Cite this Record

The First East-West Dichotomy?. David Clinnick. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445321)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 92.549; min lat: -11.351 ; max long: 141.328; max lat: 27.372 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22146