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The close spatial relation between ancient civilizations and active tectonic boundaries is robust in the Eastern Hemisphere but counterintuitive given the seismic disadvantages it implies. Explanations for the observation remain debatable, and no single explanation seems sufficient. Some possibly important factors are unrelated to seismicity, e.g., the influence of tectonism on local water resources and on resource diversity. When examined on finer spatial scales, the relation is still robust. A quantifiable influence of tectonism on civilization locations even along Mediterranean shores is suggested by their distribution. The stronger links of tectonism with derivative civilizations suggest a role of ancient trade...

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