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Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God
Amos Nur
With Dawn Burgess

Hardcover | 2008 | $26.95 | £21.95 | ISBN: 9780691016023
328 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 98 halftones.
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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.


"[Amos Nur] posits seismicity--rather than invaders or social forces--as the prime dynamic behind the fall of ancient civilizations. Nur engages in what we might call archaeological detective work--looking at the positions of human remains, for instance, to determine cause of death--his book is focused and intense."--David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"[A] deeply researched and compellingly written book. Apocalypse is a winning combination of cautious interdisciplinary investigation and interpretation, writing suitable for a general readership, and excellent illustrations. Although it will deliberately irritate many archaeologists, it should also provoke a serious reconsideration of the archaeological record. [T]he evidence for earthquakes in prehistorical change may be staring archaeologists in the face."--Andrew Robinson, Nature

"The theory that earthquakes may have caused the destruction of many ancient cities is unpopular and controversial. Amos Nur's book illustrated these ideas with convincing prose and meticulous research. Nur introduces the reader to a relatively new science...called Archaeoseismology. The reader will dosciver that the earthquakes that have occurred in the more recent times...have parallels to the remnants of destruction left from earthquakes in the distant past. Apocalypse is a result of [Nur's] determined effort to expell the fallacies in archaeology with the hard science of geophysics."--Lee Gooden, ForeWord Magazine

"In Apocalypse...Amos Nur compellingly proposes seismic sources for civilizational collapses that the Bible and the Classics attribute to other causes."--Anneli Rufus, East Bay Express

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Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
Chapter 1: King Agamemnon's Capital 11
Chapter 2: How Earthquakes Happen 32
Chapter 3: History, Myth, and the Reliability of the Written Record 65
Chapter 4: Clues to Earthquakes in the Archaeological Record 88
Chapter 5: Under the Rubble: Human Casualties of Earthquakes 141
Chapter 6: Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Destruction That Preserves? 162
Chapter 7: Expanding the Earthquake Record in the Holy Land 186
Chapter 8: Earthquake Storms and the Catastrophic End of the Bronze Age 224
Chapter 9: Rumblings and Revolutions: Political Effects of Earthquakes 246
Chapter 10: Earthquakes and Societal Collapse 272
Glossary 279
References 289
Index 305


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File created: 7/11/2017

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