The Archaeology of Geological Catastrophes
Archaeology is playing an increasingly important role in unravelling the details of geological catastrophes that occurred in the past few millennia. This collection of papers addresses both established and innovative archaeological methods and techniques, and their application in examining the impact of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. This comprehensive volume includes case studies from around the world, such as Europe, Africa, SE Asia, Central and North America; covering historical and archaeological aspects of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Although the bulk of the collection views earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as agents of destruction, the volume also considers their potential benefits to past cultures - providing materials for tools, building and sculpture, and even the fertile environmental conditions on which societies depended. New geophysical, geological, and archaeometrical methods and techniques are described and the application of these new ideas presented, providing improved knowledge of these ancient catastrophes. There is a strong focus on arguably the most prominent geological catastrophe in the archaeological record - the Bronze Age eruption of Thera (Santorini, Greece) and its consequent regional impacts on Minoan culture. This multidisciplinary text is of benefit to academic researchers and educators in archaeology, palaeoseismology and volcanology alike.
‘A fire spitting volcano in our dear Germany’: documentary evidence for a low-intensity volcanic eruption of the Gleichberg in 1783?
Published:January 01, 2000
J. P. Grattan, D. D. Gilbertson, A. Dill, 2000. "‘A fire spitting volcano in our dear Germany’: documentary evidence for a low-intensity volcanic eruption of the Gleichberg in 1783?", The Archaeology of Geological Catastrophes, W. J. McGuire, D. R. Griffiths, P. L. Hancock, I. S. Stewart
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This paper presents documentary evidence suggesting that the most recent volcanic activity in Germany may have occurred just over 200 years ago, rather than the 11 000 years held currently (Ulmener Maar, West Eifel). Several descriptions recounted here suggest that a mountain in Germany, the Gleichberg, may have erupted in the early summer of 1783. The reports of the volcanic event are laden with detail that would tempt the reader to accept them as genuine descriptions of an eruption, had the event been located in an historically active volcanic region. However, there are several reasons to suggest that the...