American prehistorian well known for his work on the Palaeolithic of Europe and the Near East. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Harvard in anthropology and archaeology in 1930. Something of an athlete at college, he planned to follow a business career, but this fell by the wayside after he joined an archaeological expedition to Czechoslovakia immediately after graduating. On his return he enrolled in the Harvard Graduate School and studied in the Department of Anthropology. Between 1931 and 1937 he worked with Dorothy Garrod in Palestine and Hugh Hencken in Ireland. During WW2 he served with the United States Air Force in the Mediterranean, afterwards returning to the Harvard and Peabody Museum, where he eventually became professor. During the 1940s and 1950s his interest focused on the French Palaeolithic and especially the great cave sites of the Dordogne Valley. He excavated at La Colombière and Abri Pataud. Movius received many awards and honours for his work, and the French government named the new museum at Abri Pataud after him. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1944. His many publications include the substantial Early man and Pleistocene stratigraphy in southern and eastern Asia (1944, Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum).
Antiquaries Journal, 68 (1988), 396