PLEASE NOTE:


*

Date sent: Wed, 07 May 1997 13:21:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: Benny J Peiser <B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk>
Subject: ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY
To: cambridge-conference@livjm.ac.uk
Priority: NORMAL

Book Announcement:

S Stiros and R.E. Jones (eds.)
ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY
British School at Athens 1996
Fitch Laboratory Occasional Paper 7



"Archaeologists of my generation, who attended university in the
immediate aftermath of [Claude] Schaeffer's great work (1948), were
brought up to view earthquakes, like religion, as an explanation of
archaeological phenomena to be avoided if at all possible." With
this statement about the traditional restrictions and limitations of
archaeological research, Prof Elisabeth French, one of the world's
leading scholars in Bronze Age archaeology, opens her paper on
"Evidence for an Earthquake at Mycenae" which is part of a new book
on ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY. Half a century after Claude Schaeffer
published his ground-breaking "Stratigraphie Comparee et Chronologie
L'Asie Occidentale", a number of archaeologists have started to
speak their minds.

In fact, during the last 20 years, a gradual development towards
neo-catastrophism has occurred in the field of archaeology. A
growing number of scholars have documented evidence for natural
disasters during Mediterranean Bronze Age civilsations. From this
accumulative data, some have even concluded that the end of the
Aegean Bronze Age might have been triggered by widespread seismic
activity.

Currently, neo-catastrophism in archaeology comes in three schools
of thought:

i) Climatologists and dendrochronologists tend to focus on
historic and prehistoric volcanic eruptions some of which are
frequently blamed for the (Thera-linked) collapse of the Minoan
civilisation and abrupt climatic downturns detectable in narrow tree
rings, ice core signatures and agricultural collapse at the end of
the Early and Late Bronze Age. A year ago, Colin Humphreys and
Robert White of Cambridge University even linked the Santorini
eruption in 1628 BC with the biblical story of Joseph and the
related Egyptian drought disaster.

ii) At the beginning of this year, another new publication with
research papers by some 40 scholars suggested that abrupt climate
change at around 2200 BC might have triggered the collapse of Early
Bronze Age civilisations in Europe, Africa and Asia (see in great
detail N Dalfes, G Kukla and H Weiss, eds.: THIRD MILLENNIUM BC
CLIMATE CHANGE AND OLD WORLD SOCIAL COLLAPSE, Springer Verlag 1997).

iii) In ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY, on the other hand, the most prominent
advocates of the "Earthquake-School" of social collapse are
represented. In 1977, Spyridon Iakovides published a paper in which
he suggested that the LB III destruction of Mycenae was caused by
earthquakes and related fires. Klaus Kilian, the director of the
excavations at Tiryns, underlined his view in 1980 that also the
collapse of Tiryns and all of the Argolid at the end of the Late
Bronze Age was the result of a massive earthquake. By 1983, Kilian
had extended this seismic catastrophe to the whole of the
Peloponnese and proposed that most sites fell at the end of the Late
Bronze Age due to this quake.

Not surprisingly, many contributors to ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY present
new data for widespread earthquake damage in ancient Greece at the
end of Late Helladic II (circa 2200 BC) and Late Helladic IIIB
(circa 1200 BC).

Yet the main problem with each of these three schools is that they
tend to ignore the evidence presented by their competitors or data
from outside of their field of expertise. Whilst most climatologists
and dendrochronologists focus on tree ring and ice core evidence for
climatic downturns, they often overlook evidence for major flood, fire and
earthquake damage detectable at exactly the same time of collapse.
The question as to why archaeological evidence for abrupt climate
change sometimes correspond with data for major seismic damage
therefore arises. The need for an interdisciplinary research design
and an accurate methodology of assessing and verifying the overall
extend and complex nature of many Bronze Age collapses is therefore
essential. By bringing together scholars from the most important and
diverse fields of Bronze Age research, the 2nd SIS Cambridge
Conference will hopefully achieve at least some moderate progress
towards the goal of enlightenment.

Benny J Peiser

----------------------------------------------------------
CONTENTS

S Stiros and R E Jones (eds)
ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY


S Stiros & R E Jones: Introduction

E Guidoboni: Archaeology and Historical Seismology: the Need for
Corraboration in the Mediterranean Area

S B Pavlides: Palaeoseismology: a branch of Neotectonics linking
Geological, Seismological and Archaeological data - an Introduction

N N Ambraseys: Material for the Investigation of the Seismicity of
Central Greece

P Astroem & K Demakopoulou: Signs of an Earthquake at Midea?
[circa 1200 BC]

Ph Dakoronia: Earthquakes of the Late Helladic III Period (12th
century BC) at Kynos

A Di Vita: Earthquakes and Civil life at Gortyn (Crete) in the
Period between Justinian and Constant II (6-7th century AD)

E B French: Evidence for an Earthquake at Mycenae

E R Gebhard: Evidence for an Earthquake in the Theatre at Stobi,
c AD 300

K Kilian: Earthquakes and Archaeological Context at 13th Century BC
Tiryns

M Korres: Seismic Damage to the Monuments of the Athenian Acropolis

A Nur & H Ron: And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: Earthquake History
in the Holy Land

M Ph Papaconstantinou: A Seismic Destruction at Achinos

K Rheidt: The 1296 Earthquake and its Consequences for Pergamon and
Chliara

R M Rothaus: Earthquakes and Temples in Late Antique Corinth

A Sampson: Cases of Earthquakes at Mycenaean and Pre-Mycenaean
Thebes

I Spondilis: Contribution to a Study of the Configuration of the
Coast of Pylia

S C Stiros: Identification of Earthquakes from Archaeological Data

D Vallianou: New Evidence of Earthquake Destructions in Late Minoan
Crete

K Zachos: Tracing a Destructive Earthquake in the Southwestern
Peloponnese during the Early Bronze Age

H Maroukian, et al.: Geomorphologic -seismotectonic Observations in
Relation to the Catastrophes at Mycenae

A Nikonov: The Disappearance of the Ancient Towns of Dioscuria and
Sebastiopolis in Colchis on the Black Sea

G A Papadopoulos: An Earthquake Engineering Approch to the Collapse
of the Mycenaean Palace Civilisation of the Greek Mainland

S Papageorgiou and S C Stiros: The Harbour of Aigeira: an Uplifted
Ancient Harbour

D Papanastassiou et al.: Seismicity and Seismic Hazard Assessment at
the Site of the Temple of Epikouris Apollo

D Papaastamatiou and I Psycharis: Numerical Simulation of the
Seismic Response of Megalithic Monuments: Preliminary Investigations
related to the Apollo Temple at Vassai

P A Pirazolli: Uplift of Ancient Greek Costal Sites: Study, Methods
and Results

E Zangger: Prehistoric Earthquakes and their Consequences, as
Preserved in Holocene Sediments from Volos and Argos, Greece

L C Polimenakos: Thoughts on the Perception of the Earthquake in
Greek Antiquity



*

From: Christopher Bassford <cbassfrd@mnsinc.com>
To: Benny J Peiser <B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk>,
cambridge-conference <cambridge-conference@livjm.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY
Date sent: Wed, 7 May 1997 11:31:47 -0400

Well, it seems to me that the real problem with neo-catastrophism theories
regarding the end of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean is that
they ignore pictorial, documentary, and archeological evidence for a
political/military causation. Surely the new fortifications at Gla and the
unfinished fortifications on the Corinthian Isthmus were not built to stop
meteorites. Using the same logic, the destruction layer in Berlin c.1945
AD is clear evidence of a comet impact. This is not to say that seismic,
climatological, or astronomical events ("SCEE") might not have played a
role, perhaps in triggering political upheaval. The problem is that
single-factor analyses are inherently suspect--especially when we have
well documented historical parallels that involve no obvious SCEE.

Christopher Bassford
----------
> From: Benny J Peiser <B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk>
> To: cambridge-conference@livjm.ac.uk
> Subject: ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY
> Date: Wednesday, May 07, 1997 1:21 PM
>
> Book Announcement:
>
> S Stiros and R.E. Jones (eds.)
> ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY
> British School at Athens 1996
> Fitch Laboratory Occasional Paper 7
>
>
>
> "Archaeologists of my generation, who attended university in the
> immediate aftermath of [Claude] Schaeffer's great work (1948), were
> brought up to view earthquakes, like religion, as an explanation of
> archaeological phenomena to be avoided if at all possible." With
> this statement about the traditional restrictions and limitations of
> archaeological research, Prof Elisabeth French, one of the world's
> leading scholars in Bronze Age archaeology, opens her paper on
> "Evidence for an Earthquake at Mycenae" which is part of a new book
> on ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY. Half a century after Claude Schaeffer
> published his ground-breaking "Stratigraphie Comparee et Chronologie
> L'Asie Occidentale", a number of archaeologists have started to
> speak their minds.
>
> In fact, during the last 20 years, a gradual development towards
> neo-catastrophism has occurred in the field of archaeology. A
> growing number of scholars have documented evidence for natural
> disasters during Mediterranean Bronze Age civilsations. From this
> accumulative data, some have even concluded that the end of the
> Aegean Bronze Age might have been triggered by widespread seismic
> activity.
>
> Currently, neo-catastrophism in archaeology comes in three schools
> of thought:
>
> i) Climatologists and dendrochronologists tend to focus on
> historic and prehistoric volcanic eruptions some of which are
> frequently blamed for the (Thera-linked) collapse of the Minoan
> civilisation and abrupt climatic downturns detectable in narrow tree
> rings, ice core signatures and agricultural collapse at the end of
> the Early and Late Bronze Age. A year ago, Colin Humphreys and
> Robert White of Cambridge University even linked the Santorini
> eruption in 1628 BC with the biblical story of Joseph and the
> related Egyptian drought disaster.
>
> ii) At the beginning of this year, another new publication with
> research papers by some 40 scholars suggested that abrupt climate
> change at around 2200 BC might have triggered the collapse of Early
> Bronze Age civilisations in Europe, Africa and Asia (see in great
> detail N Dalfes, G Kukla and H Weiss, eds.: THIRD MILLENNIUM BC
> CLIMATE CHANGE AND OLD WORLD SOCIAL COLLAPSE, Springer Verlag 1997).
>
> iii) In ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY, on the other hand, the most prominent
> advocates of the "Earthquake-School" of social collapse are
> represented. In 1977, Spyridon Iakovides published a paper in which
> he suggested that the LB III destruction of Mycenae was caused by
> earthquakes and related fires. Klaus Kilian, the director of the
> excavations at Tiryns, underlined his view in 1980 that also the
> collapse of Tiryns and all of the Argolid at the end of the Late
> Bronze Age was the result of a massive earthquake. By 1983, Kilian
> had extended this seismic catastrophe to the whole of the
> Peloponnese and proposed that most sites fell at the end of the Late
> Bronze Age due to this quake.
>
> Not surprisingly, many contributors to ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY present
> new data for widespread earthquake damage in ancient Greece at the
> end of Late Helladic II (circa 2200 BC) and Late Helladic IIIB
> (circa 1200 BC).
>
> Yet the main problem with each of these three schools is that they
> tend to ignore the evidence presented by their competitors or data
> from outside of their field of expertise. Whilst most climatologists
> and dendrochronologists focus on tree ring and ice core evidence for
> climatic downturns, they often overlook evidence for major flood, fire
and
> earthquake damage detectable at exactly the same time of collapse.
> The question as to why archaeological evidence for abrupt climate
> change sometimes correspond with data for major seismic damage
> therefore arises. The need for an interdisciplinary research design
> and an accurate methodology of assessing and verifying the overall
> extend and complex nature of many Bronze Age collapses is therefore
> essential. By bringing together scholars from the most important and
> diverse fields of Bronze Age research, the 2nd SIS Cambridge
> Conference will hopefully achieve at least some moderate progress
> towards the goal of enlightenment.
>
> Benny J Peiser
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> CONTENTS
>
> S Stiros and R E Jones (eds)
> ARCHAEOSEISMOLOGY
>
>
> S Stiros & R E Jones: Introduction
>
> E Guidoboni: Archaeology and Historical Seismology: the Need for
> Corraboration in the Mediterranean Area
>
> S B Pavlides: Palaeoseismology: a branch of Neotectonics linking
> Geological, Seismological and Archaeological data - an Introduction
>
> N N Ambraseys: Material for the Investigation of the Seismicity of
> Central Greece
>
> P Astroem & K Demakopoulou: Signs of an Earthquake at Midea?
> [circa 1200 BC]
>
> Ph Dakoronia: Earthquakes of the Late Helladic III Period (12th
> century BC) at Kynos
>
> A Di Vita: Earthquakes and Civil life at Gortyn (Crete) in the
> Period between Justinian and Constant II (6-7th century AD)
>
> E B French: Evidence for an Earthquake at Mycenae
>
> E R Gebhard: Evidence for an Earthquake in the Theatre at Stobi,
> c AD 300
>
> K Kilian: Earthquakes and Archaeological Context at 13th Century BC
> Tiryns
>
> M Korres: Seismic Damage to the Monuments of the Athenian Acropolis
>
> A Nur & H Ron: And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: Earthquake History
> in the Holy Land
>
> M Ph Papaconstantinou: A Seismic Destruction at Achinos
>
> K Rheidt: The 1296 Earthquake and its Consequences for Pergamon and
> Chliara
>
> R M Rothaus: Earthquakes and Temples in Late Antique Corinth
>
> A Sampson: Cases of Earthquakes at Mycenaean and Pre-Mycenaean
> Thebes
>
> I Spondilis: Contribution to a Study of the Configuration of the
> Coast of Pylia
>
> S C Stiros: Identification of Earthquakes from Archaeological Data
>
> D Vallianou: New Evidence of Earthquake Destructions in Late Minoan
> Crete
>
> K Zachos: Tracing a Destructive Earthquake in the Southwestern
> Peloponnese during the Early Bronze Age
>
> H Maroukian, et al.: Geomorphologic -seismotectonic Observations in
> Relation to the Catastrophes at Mycenae
>
> A Nikonov: The Disappearance of the Ancient Towns of Dioscuria and
> Sebastiopolis in Colchis on the Black Sea
>
> G A Papadopoulos: An Earthquake Engineering Approch to the Collapse
> of the Mycenaean Palace Civilisation of the Greek Mainland
>
> S Papageorgiou and S C Stiros: The Harbour of Aigeira: an Uplifted
> Ancient Harbour
>
> D Papanastassiou et al.: Seismicity and Seismic Hazard Assessment at
> the Site of the Temple of Epikouris Apollo
>
> D Papaastamatiou and I Psycharis: Numerical Simulation of the
> Seismic Response of Megalithic Monuments: Preliminary Investigations
> related to the Apollo Temple at Vassai
>
> P A Pirazolli: Uplift of Ancient Greek Costal Sites: Study, Methods
> and Results
>
> E Zangger: Prehistoric Earthquakes and their Consequences, as
> Preserved in Holocene Sediments from Volos and Argos, Greece
>
> L C Polimenakos: Thoughts on the Perception of the Earthquake in
> Greek Antiquity



CCCMENU CCC for 1997

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