Department of Geophysics - Heiland Lecture Series
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 4:00 p.m.
"Earthquakes and Archaeology: The Catastrophic End of the Bronze Age @ 1200BC"
Dr. Amos Nur, Wayne Loel Professor of Earth Sciences, Emeritus, Standford University
Earthquakes have traditionally been rejected as an important agent in past collapses and destructions. In this talk I show however that from a geophysics point of view, and especially our current knowledge of earthquake geography and plate tectonics, that this rejection is unwarranted and even a bit surprising given the great archaeological puzzles we face
1. Why are there so many ruins around the Mediterranean basin?
2. Why are there so many levels of destruction in many archaeological sites (e.g., Knossos-10, Jericho-22, Armageddon-32, Troy-45)?
3. The inexplicable nature of regional destructions and system collapses.
One of the greatest collapses we know of is the catastrophic end of the Bronze Age ca. 1200 BC in the Aegean Sea and near East involving not only political and societal collapses but also the physical destruction of major capital cities such as Mycenae, Hatusas, Ugarit and Troy, and important sites such as Armageddon and Jericho.