The Value of Archaeological Evidence in Paleoseismology Research Paper

The Value of Archaeological Evidence in Paleoseismology
A discussion of the science of paleoseismology, and how archaeological evidence gives related historical clues.
# 129032 | 1,513 words | 0 sources | APA | 2010 | PK
Published on Aug 26, 2010 in Archaeology (Ancient History and Mediterranean)

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This paper discusses the science of paleoseismology, and archaeological evidence as a relatively new investigative source. The paper explains that archaeology was put into a more scientific framework only in 1928 by Sir Arthur Evans who, based on evidence of a destruction layer, established the tradition of regarding earthquake horizons as benchmarks in archaeological stratigraphy and chronology. The paper adds that some archaeologist have gone as far as blaming major earthquakes for the destruction of several major constructions, even putting the blame for the collapse and disappearance of ancient civilizations. After discussing pertinent topics such as the identification of paleoseismic phenomena, the paper concludes that the study of ancient earthquakes can also warn geologists about a presently tectonically quiet region and a potential future return of activity.

From the Paper:

"The main contribution that seismic archaeology can offer to active tectonics is the localization, dating and evaluation of seismic events. The relationship between qualitative data (the description of effects) and quantitative data (magnitude, depth) is still approximate.
Archaeologists need to interpret and place material and written clues into a wider temporal context in the appropriate socio-economic framework of the sampled region. In other words, to establish the extent and magnitude of a certain destructive episode, i.e. working within a rigorous scientific outline, the archaeological study has to look beyond the often scant written record of the event. Local patterns of destruction and damage, filtered through historical parameters, can point to a more precise description of an ancient earthquake."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ambraseys, N. 1971. Value of historical records of earthquakes. Nature. 232 375-379.
  • Guidoboni, E. 1996. Archaeology and Historical Seismology: the need for collaboration in the Mediterranean Area. Fitch Laboratory, British School at Athens. Athens. Greece.
  • Lee. W. H., H. Meyers & K. SHimazaki 1988. Historical seismograms and earthquakes of the world. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, California, USA.
  • Karz, I. & Kafri, U. 1978. Evaluation of supposed archaeoseismic damage in Israel. Archaeological Science. 5 237-253.
  • Kirikov, B. 1992. Earthquake resistance of structures: from antiquity to our times. Mir, Moscow. Russia.

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APA Format

The Value of Archaeological Evidence in Paleoseismology (2010, August 26) Retrieved December 04, 2023, from

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"The Value of Archaeological Evidence in Paleoseismology" 26 August 2010. Web. 04 December. 2023. <>