Archaeoseismological studies at the temple of Amenhotep III, Luxor, Egypt
Published:October 01, 2010
Arkadi Karakhanyan, Ara Avagyan, Hourig Sourouzian, 2010. "Archaeoseismological studies at the temple of Amenhotep III, Luxor, Egypt", Ancient Earthquakes, Manuel Sintubin, Iain S. Stewart, Tina M. Niemi, Erhan Altunel
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Our studies in the temple of Amenhotep III, conducted under the project on Excavation and Conservation at Kom el-Hettan, provide new information about the seismic history of ancient Thebes. Distinct signs of liquefaction are revealed at the temple site. Trenches exhibit sand dikes and sills that formed extension cracks through the mechanism of lateral spreading. Clear effects of liquefaction by lateral spreading were discovered in other monuments on the west bank of the Nile. Application of historical, archaeological, and geological methods enables us to constrain the time of the earthquake responsible for the damage in the west bank temples to between 1200 and 901 B.C. Furthermore, we find no signs of an earthquake in 27 B.C. The foot of the Thebes Plateau may conceal a basement fault with combined vertical and horizontal slip kinematics. The fault located to the southeast, near an ancient sanctuary, may correspond to either seismogenic fault surface rupture, or a secondary seismic effect manifested as subordinate rupture and ground failure.