As we cannot know what will happen in the future, to estimate likely earthquake hazards we have to find out what happened in the past and extrapolate from there. Previous research has uncovered evidence of destructive earthquakes in areas of the eastern Mediterranean where only small events have been experienced recently, with the evidence drawn from realistic physical considerations and input data. For earthquakes before our era, however, historical and archaeological data, which are rarely unambiguous and always of little use to the scientist, have attracted interpretations that are influenced by the dogma of catastrophism, attributing to earthquakes the obliteration...

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