This book was first published in 2004. There is emerging interest amongst researchers from various subject areas in understanding the interplay of earthquake and volcanic occurrences, archaeology and history. This discipline has become known as archeoseismology. Ancient earthquakes often leave their mark in the myths, legends, and literary accounts of ancient peoples, the stratigraphy of their historical sites, and the structural integrity of their constructions. Such information leads to a better understanding of the irregularities in the time-space patterns of earthquake and volcanic occurrences and whether they could have been a factor contributing to some of the enigmatic catastrophes in ancient times. This book focuses on the historical earthquakes of North and South America, and describes the effects those earthquakes have had with illustrated examples of recent structural damage at archaeological sites. It is written at a level that will appeal to students and researchers in the fields of earth science, archaeology, and history.
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Earthquake mosaic of the Americas; 3. Myths and legends; 4. Earthquake effects; 5. Earthquakes of Mexico; 6. Earthquakes in the Maya Empire; 7. Earthquakes of Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia; 8. Earthquakes of Peru and Chile; 9. Early California earthquakes; 10. Earthquakes of the northern American cordillera; 11. Earthquakes of eastern and central North America; 12. Conclusions and speculations; Appendix A. Data relating magnitude to extent of Modified Mercalli intensity of VII; Appendix B. Data relating magnitude to extent of Modified Mercalli intensity of > VI, Mexican earthquakes; Appendix C. Rossi-Forel seismic intensity scale; Glossary; Bibliographic summaries; References; Index.