Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God

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Princeton University Press, 2008 - Nature - 309 pages
8 Reviews

What if Troy was not destroyed in the epic battle immortalized by Homer? What if many legendary cities of the ancient world did not meet their ends through war and conquest as archaeologists and historians believe, but in fact were laid waste by a force of nature so catastrophic that religions and legends describe it as the wrath of god? Apocalypse brings the latest scientific evidence to bear on biblical accounts, mythology, and the archaeological record to explore how ancient and modern earthquakes have shaped history--and, for some civilizations, seemingly heralded the end of the world.

Archaeologists are trained to seek human causes behind the ruins they study. Because of this, the subtle clues that indicate earthquake damage are often overlooked or even ignored. Amos Nur bridges the gap that for too long has separated archaeology and seismology. He examines tantalizing evidence of earthquakes at some of the world's most famous archaeological sites in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, including Troy, Jericho, Knossos, Mycenae, Armageddon, Teotihuacán, and Petra. He reveals what the Bible, the Iliad, and other writings can tell us about the seismic calamities that may have rocked the ancient world. He even explores how earthquakes may have helped preserve the Dead Sea Scrolls. As Nur shows, recognizing earthquake damage in the shifted foundations and toppled arches of historic ruins is vital today because the scientific record of world earthquake risks is still incomplete. Apocalypse explains where and why ancient earthquakes struck--and could strike again.

  

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Review: Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God

User Review  - JC - Goodreads

Provides a new pool of knowledge for an introduction to the use of seismology when examining the archaeological record. Some of the information can be speculative for the field with little information ... Read full review

Review: Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God

User Review  - Jonathan - Goodreads

very interesting book that raises some good poitns to consider: what actually causes the creation of Tells in the middle east? Is destruction at ancient cites invariably due to human agents? Do natural disasters create triggers for wars, cultural shifts or societal collapse? Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
King Agamemnons Capital
11
How Earthquakes Happen
32
History Myth and the Reliability of the Written Record
65
Clues to Earthquakes in the Archaeological Record
88
Under the Rubble Human Casualties of Earthquakes
141
Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls Destruction That Preserves
162
Expanding the Earthquake Record in the Holy Land
186
Earthquake Storms and the Catastrophic End of the Bronze Age
224
Rumblings and Revolutions Political Effects of Earthquakes
246
Earthquakes and Societal Collapse
272
Glossary
279
References
289
Index
305
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Amos Nur is the Wayne Loel Professor of Earth Sciences and professor of geophysics at Stanford University. Dawn Burgess is a writer and editor based in Bar Harbor, Maine. She earned a PhD in geophysics from Stanford.

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