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The Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake(s)

~142 BCE

by Jefferson Williams









Introduction & Summary

In ~142 BCE, the Seleucid Empire experienced a power struggle between competing monarchs. Two generals, Sarpedon and Diodotus Tryphon , led their troops into battle. Tryphon’s army won. As Tryphon’s army marched up the Lebanese coast after the battle, a tsunami is reported to have struck and drowned parts of the army; leaving a scene of Dead Fish and Soldiers in its wake. This tsunami appears to be reported from an earlier lost source - Posidonius (~135 BC – ~ 51 BC). It was repeated by Strabo in Geographicum and Athenaeus of Naucratis in The Deipnosophistae. The accounts are more or less identical. Athenaeus and Strabo do not explicitly mention that the tsunami was caused by or accompanied by an earthquake however, after describing the tsunami, Strabo speculates that the earth moved up or down to create the displacement of water, perhaps hinting that this tsunami was accompanied by some type of earthquake report by Posidonius or others.

Paleoseismic evidence uncovered at several Dead Sea sites indicates that a powerful earthquake (or two) struck the area in the middle of the 2nd century BCE. Because an earthquake on the Lebanese coast seems too far away to have generated such thick and brecciated seismites, its seems that an earthquake couplet may be at play where a southern quake triggered a northern quake or vice-versa. The seismites thicken towards the south and there is additional paleoseismic evidence from the Taybeh trench in the Araba suggesting an epicenter in the southern Dead Sea or the northern Araba.

It is possible that Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake and the Malalas Confusion Quake are the same event. The Seventeenth of Adar Quake could also be included. These possibilities are discussed below in the Textual Evidence section.

Josephus in The Jewish War Book 1 apparently discusses Diodotus Tryphon who he calls Trypho and a battle at Dor.

Textual Evidence

Text (with hotlink) Original Language Biographical Info Religion Date of Composition Location Composed Notes
Geographicum by Strabo possibly based on Posidonius Greek - Strabo
Greek - Posidonius
Biography - Strabo

Strabo, born around 64 BCE in Amaseia in Pontus, was a scientifically insightful Greek Geographer, Philosopher, and Historian who traveled extensively. His best known work is the book Geographicum for which a first edition was published in 7 BCE and a final edition in ~23 CE. Strabo died around ~ 24 CE.

Biography - Posidonius

Posidonius (125 BCE - c. 51 BCE) was a celebrated Greek Stoic philosopher and polymath originally from Apamea on the Orontes in Syria. He traveled extensively and is thought to have authored over 20 works none of which have survived fully intact. Some of his work, however, survives as quotations by other authors.

Strabo - 7 BCE - ~23 CE
Posidonius - before c. 51 BCE
Strabo - Amaseia in Pontus with some sections perhaps written at other locations.
Posidonius - Rhodes
Account

reports sea wave flooding between Tyre and Acre (aka Ptolemais). The account described a wave from the sea, like a flood-tide, submerged the fugitives; and some were carried off into the sea and destroyed, whereas others were left dead in the hollow places; and then, succeeding this wave, the ebb uncovered the shore again and disclosed the bodies of men lying promiscuously among dead fish while noting that like occurrences take place in the neighborhood of the Mt. Casius situated near Aegypt, where the land undergoes a single quick convulsion, and makes a sudden change to a higher or lower level, the result being that, whereas the elevated part repels the sea and the sunken part receives it

The Deipnosophistae by Athenaeus of Naucratis citing Posidonius Greek - Athenaeus
Greek - Posidonius
Biography - Athenaeus

Athenaeus, the author of the Deipnosophists, is almost unknown. The Byzantine lexicon Suda (s.v. Ἀθήναιος 731) describes him as coming from the Egyptian city of Naucratis, being a grammarian, and living in the time of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (Digital Atheneus Project).Several of his publications are lost, but the fifteen-volume Deipnosophistae mostly survives.

Biography - Posidonius

Posidonius (125 BCE - c. 51 BCE) was a celebrated Greek Stoic philosopher and polymath originally from Apamea on the Orontes in Syria. He traveled extensively and is thought to have authored over 20 works none of which have survived fully intact. Some of his work, however, survives as quotations by other authors.

Athenaeus - end of the 2nd/beginning of the 3rd century BCE
Posidonius - before c. 51 BCE
Athenaeus - ?
Posidonius - Rhodes
Account

The Deipnosophistae cites Posidonius in stating that suddenly a wave from the ocean lifted itself to an extraordinary height and dashed upon the shore, engulfing all the men and drowning them beneath the waters. And when the wave receded it left behind a huge pile of fishes among the dead bodies.

Conflation Possibilities - The Dead Fish and Soldiers, Malalas Confusion, and the Seventeenth of Adar Quakes
Text (with hotlink) Original Language Biographical Info Religion Date of Composition Location Composed Notes
Geographicum by Strabo

Background and Biography

Biography - Posidonius

Posidonius (125 BCE - c. 51 BCE) was a celebrated Greek Stoic philosopher and polymath originally from Apamea on the Orontes in Syria. He traveled extensively and is thought to have authored over 20 works none of which have survived fully intact. Some of his work, however, survives as quotations by other authors.

Biography - Strabo

Strabo, born around 64 BCE in Amaseia in Pontus, was a scientifically insightful Greek Geographer, Philosopher, and Historian who traveled extensively. His best known work is the book Geographicum for which a first edition was published in 7 BCE and a final edition in ~23 CE. Strabo died around ~ 24 CE.

Excerpts

Strabo (~ 64 BCE – ~ 24 CE), in his book Geographicum, possibly using Posidonius (~135 BCE – ~ 51 BCE) as his source (Kidd,1988:40), reports sea wave flooding between Tyre and Acre (aka Ptolemais). Although he does not specifically cite an earthquake as the cause of the sea wave, he speculates that ground movement may have caused the sea wave comparing this event to another possible earthquake and tsunami reported in ~20 BC near Mount Casius (aka Cassium) in Egypt.
English from Jones and Sterrett (1916)

A marvellous occurrence of a very rare kind is reported as having taken place on this shore between Tyre and Ptolemaïs: at the time when the Ptolemaeans, after joining battle the Sarpedon the general, were left in this place, after a brilliant rout had taken place, a wave from the sea, like a flood-tide, submerged the fugitives; and some were carried off into the sea and destroyed, whereas others were left dead in the hollow places; and then, succeeding this wave, the ebb uncovered the shore again and disclosed the bodies of men lying promiscuously among dead fish. Like occurrences take place in the neighborhood of the Mt. Casius situated near Aegypt, where the land undergoes a single quick convulsion, and makes a sudden change to a higher or lower level, the result being that, whereas the elevated part repels the sea and the sunken part receives it, yet, the land makes a reverse change and the site resumes its old position again, a complete interchange of levels sometimes having taken place and sometimes not. Perhaps such disturbances are subject to periodic principles unknown to us, as is also should be the case of the overflows of the Nile, which prove to be variant but follow some unknown order.

Greek from Jones and Sterrett (1916)

῾ιστορεῖται δὲ παράδοξον πάθος τῶν πάνυ σπανίων κατὰ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν τοῦτον τὸν μεταξὺ τῆς τε Τύρου καὶ τῆς Πτολεμαΐδος. καθ᾽ ὃν γὰρ καιρὸν οἱ Πτολεμαεῖς μάχην συνάψαντες πρὸς Σαρπηδόνα τὸν στρατηγὸν ἐλείφθησαν ἐν τῷ τόπῳ τούτῳ τροπῆς γενομένης λαμπρᾶς, ἐπέκλυσεν ἐκ τοῦ πελάγους κῦμα τοὺς φεύγοντας ὅμοιον πλημμυρίδι, καὶ τοὺς μὲν εἰς τὸ πέλαγος ἀπήρπασε καὶ διέφθειρεν, οἱ δ᾽ ἐν τοῖς κοίλοις τόποις ἔμειναν νεκροί: διαδεξαμένη δὲ ἡ ἄμπωτις πάλιν ἀνεκάλυψε καὶ ἔδειξε τὰ σώματα τῶν κειμένων ἀναμὶξ ἐν νεκροῖς ἰχθύσι. τοιαῦτα δὲ καὶ περὶ τὸ Κάσιον συμβαίνει τὸ πρὸς Αἰγύπτῳ, σπασμῷ τινι ὀξεῖ καὶ ἁπλῷ περιπιπτούσης τῆς γῆς καὶ εἰς ἑκάτερον μεταβαλλομένης ἅπαξ, ὥστε τὸ μὲν μετεωρισθὲν αὐτῆς μέρος ἐπαγαγεῖν τὴν θάλατταν, τὸ δὲ συνιζῆσαν δέξασθαι, τραπομένης δὲ τὴν ἀρχαίαν πάλιν ἕδραν ἀπολαβεῖν τὸν τόπον, τοτὲ μὲν οὖν καὶ ἐξαλλάξεώς τινος γενομένης τοτὲ δ᾽ οὔ, τάχα καὶ περιόδοις τισὶν ἐνδεδεμένων τῶν τοιούτων παθῶν ἀδήλοις ἡμῖν, καθάπερ τοῦτο καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν κατὰ τὸν Νεῖλον ἀναβάσεων λέγεται διαφόρων γινομένων, ἄδηλον δὲ τὴν τάξιν ἐχουσῶν.

Chronology

If there was an earthquake, there is some uncertainty about its date. According to Ambraseys (2009), it could have occurred between 138 BCE and 125 BCE. According to Karcz (2004), it likely struck between 145/144 BCE and in 138/137 BCE. Karcz (2004) added that if the Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake and the Seventeenth of Adar Quake are the same event, this event would likely have occurred in 143/142 BCE - a date which coincides with archaeoseismic evidence at Tel Ateret.

Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading Notes
Comments by Ambraseys (2009) and Ben-Menahem (1991)

Ambraseys (2009) notes that an earthquake was not specifically mentioned adding that assuming that such a large event in fact occurred, it should have caused havoc in the coastal area of southern Lebanon and Palestine, for which there is not a hint in the sources. However, In quoting Strabo, Ambraseys (2009) neglected to include Strabo’s ground movement and tsunami-like speculations. Ben-Menahem (1991) assigned a Local Magnitude of 7.0 and a Maximum Local Intensity of X to this supposed earthquake also stating that there was partial subsidence of Sur Island and that earthquake shaking was strong in Cyprus. Although Ben-Menahem (1991) cites Strabo as his source, Strabo does not mention strong earthquake shaking in Cyprus and merely speculates about the possibility of uplift followed by subsidence with no permanent change in elevation in the vicinity of Sur Island. These observations are interpretations by Ben-Menahem (1991) .

The Deipnosophistae by Athenaeus of Naucratis

Background and Biography

Biography - Athenaeus

Athenaeus, the author of the Deipnosophists, is almost unknown. The Byzantine lexicon Suda (s.v. Ἀθήναιος 731) describes him as coming from the Egyptian city of Naucratis, being a grammarian, and living in the time of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (Digital Atheneus Project).Several of his publications are lost, but the fifteen-volume Deipnosophistae mostly survives.

Biography - Posidonius

Posidonius (125 BCE - c. 51 BCE) was a celebrated Greek Stoic philosopher and polymath originally from Apamea on the Orontes in Syria. He traveled extensively and is thought to have authored over 20 works none of which have survived fully intact. Some of his work, however, survives as quotations by other authors.

Excerpts

Athenaeus of Naucratis writing in his book The Deipnosophistae in the early 3rd-century CE also records this event while explicitly stating that Posidonius [c. 135 BCE – c. 51 BCE ] was his source.
English from Gulick (1930)

I know also that Poseidonius the Stoic speaks of a great quantity of fishes in these words: When Tryphon of Apameia, who had seized the kingdom of Syria, was attacked near the city of Ptolemais by Sarpedon, Demetrius's general, the latter was defeated and forced to retreat into the interior with his troops. Tryphon's army were marching along the coast after their victory in the battle, when suddenly a wave from the ocean lifted itself to an extraordinary height and dashed upon the shore, engulfing all the men and drowning them beneath the waters. And when the wave receded it left behind a huge pile of fishes among the dead bodies. The followers of Sarpedon, hearing of this disaster, came up and gloated over the bodies of their enemies, while they also carried away an abundance of fish and offered sacrifice to Poseidon, god of the rout, near the suburbs of the city.

Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading

Conflation Possibilities - The Dead Fish and Soldiers, Malalas Confusion, and the Seventeenth of Adar Quakes

It is possible that the Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake and the Malalas Confusion Quake refer to the same event. Karcz (2004) speculated on this possibility suggesting Malalas may have misreported the ruling Seleucid King when the alleged Malalas Confusion Quake struck Antioch. Karcz (2004) further suggested that the Seventeenth of Adar Quake may refer to the Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake. Karcz (2004) constrained the date of the Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake to between 145/144 BCE and in 138/137 BCE and noted that if the Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake and the Seventeenth of Adar Quake are the same event, this event would likely have occurred in 143/142 BCE. Guidoboni et al (1994) did not discuss the Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake and dated the Malalas Confusion Quake to 148 (or 130 ?) BCE. Ambraseys (2009) dated the Malalas Confusion Quake to 148 BCE and dated the Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake to 139 BCE and noted the following while referencing the battle that preceded the Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake

This battle probably took place about six years after Alexander Balas’ death in 145 BC (Clinton 1830, v, 327). However, the sequence of events for the years following Alexander’s death would put the event between 138 and 125 BC (Pauly.W iv, 2, col. 2800).

Archaeoseismic Evidence

Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Tel Ateret aka Vadun Jacob probable ≥9 Ellenblum et. al. (2015:5) estimated a displacement of ~2.5 m from this event which, though dated from the 3rd century BCE - ~142 BCE, probably struck around ~142 BCE. Using the scaling laws of Wells and Coppersmith (1994), ~2.5 m of strike-slip displacement corresponds to a magnitude of 7.1 - 7.4.
Tell Anafa possible Hellenistic Earthquake inferred from possible rebuilding - Although Herbert in Stern et al (1993) did not report any evidence for seismic destruction in Hellenistic times, they did date construction of a Late Hellenistic stuccoed building around ~125 BCE noting that a coin of Alexander Zebina (128-125 BCE) found in the construction fill of the bath's southern room is the latest find under any of the building's original floors. Herbert in Stern et al (1993) also reports that a massive leveling and terracing operation took place with the construction of the Late Hellenistic stuccoed building, obliterating earlier architectural remains. This could explain an absence of archaeoseismic evidence.
Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Tel Ateret aka Vadun Jacob



Tell Anafa



Tsunamogenic Evidence

Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Tyre missing evidence Marriner et al (2005) undertook a litho and biostratigraphical study of four core sequences from the landward edge of the current harbor. AMS radiocarbon dating was performed on dateable material found in the cores. They attributed missing 1st millennium BCE strata to dredging activity undertaken in the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Tyre



Paleoseismic Evidence

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Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Dinar Trenches possible - indeterminate ≥ 7 Altunel et al (1999) claim evidence for a ~80 BCE Apamea Earthquake in Event 2 from their trenches but only two useful radiocarbon dates were obtained in their paleoseismic study. The date constraints from these two samples are large (~1550 BCE - 1360 ± 50 CE) and their historical earthquake assignment is speculative - based on consulting earthquake catalogs during that time span.
Hacipasa Trenches possible ≥ 7 The oldest event identified in the Ziyaret Trench dated to before 983 CE. A lower bound on age was not available due to insufficient radiocarbon dates.
Tekieh Trenches possible ≥ 7 Gomez et. al. (2003:15) may have seen evidence for an earthquake in the 1st or 2nd century BCE in Event B. Event B is estimated to have created ~ 2 meters of left lateral strike slip displacement which translates to an estimated Magnitude between 7.0 and 7.3 (7.0 and 7.2 according to Gomez et al, 2003:16-17). In terms of dating, an upper bound for Event B is 170 BCE - 20 CE while a lower bound for Events B and and the older Event C is from 1690 - 1400 BCE.
Tabarja Benches possible Mw = ~7.5 Elias et al (2007) examined uplifted benches on the Lebanese coast between Sarafand and Tripolis; some in the vicinity of Tabarja (~20 km. NE of Beirut). They identified four uplifts from 3 or more [sizeable Mw = ~7.5] earthquakes in the past ca. 6-7 ka. They attributed the latest uplift (B1) to the 551 CE Beirut Quake while the earlier events (B2, B3, and B4) were no more precisely dated than between ~5000 BCE and 551 CE. Bench uplift on the earlier events (B2, B3, and B4) would likely have been due to uplift on the Mount Lebanon Thrust system - as was surmised for Event B1 and the 551 CE Beirut Quake.
Jarmaq Trench possible ≥ 7 Nemer and Meghraoui (2006) date Event Y to between 2920-2879 BCE and 84-239 CE
Qiryat-Shemona Rockfalls possible Kanari, M. (2008) examined rockfalls in Qiryat-Shemona which were attributed to earthquakes. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating was performed on soil samples beneath the fallen rocks. Kanari et al (2019) assigned Sample ID QS-6 to an earthquake in 199 BCE but the wide spread in ages indicate that this event could have occurred in the 2nd century BCE.
Bet Zayda possible ≥ 7 Wechsler at al. (2014) records event CH4-E6 with a modeled age of 392 BCE – 91 CE.
Jordan Valley - Dir Hagla Trenches possible ≥ 7 Reches and Hoexter (1981) report that Event A was dated from 200 BCE - 200 CE and exhibited 3.5 m of vertical displacement. Although the total vertical displacement could have been created by more than one seismic event, there were no broken layers between Event A the next Event (B) which was dated to between 700 and 900 CE. Further, they interpreted Event A created a fault scarp on the site. Kagan, E., et al. (2011) noted that the dip slip could have been magnified by local variations in the strike of the fault.
Dead Sea - Seismite Types n/a n/a If the Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake struck somewhere on the Lebanese littoral, it's epicenter might have been ~200-250 km. away from the Dead Sea Paleoseismic sites. If one assumes a magnitude of 6.5, this leads to projected PGAs of 0.08-0.10 g at the Dead Sea sites. At a magnitude of 7.0, those numbers go up to 0.14-0.18 g. This is below the 0.23 g threshold calculated by Williams (2004) and is, in some cases, above the 0.13 g threshold assumed in Lu et al (2020a) that one needs to break the Dead Sea sediments. So, while a northern Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake could have left a mark in the Dead Sea, it would not likely have churned up seismites as thick the mid 2nd century BCE seismites we see in the outcrops. It also would not likely have extended to the Araba. This suggests that the causitive earthquake for the mid 2nd century BCE seismites was probably in the region. This further suggests that we may be dealing with an earthquake couplet where an earthquake in the northern part of the Dead Sea Transform struck within a short amount of time (1-2 decades or less) before or after an earthquake in the southern part of the Transform.

Calculator
Seismic Attenuation

Variable Input Units Notes
Magnitude
km. Distance to earthquake producing fault
Variable Output - Site Effect not considered Units Notes
unitless
unitless Conversion from PGA to Intensity using Wald et al (1999)
  

Dead Sea - Nahal Darga possible ≥ 7 Enzel et. al. (2000) identified a 20 cm. thick seismite in coarse grained lithology in Deformed Unit 8 in Stratigraphic Unit 10 which dated to 450-50 BCE (2400-2000 yrs BP).
Dead Sea - En Feshkapossible 7.9 - 8.8 Kagan et al (2011) identified two seismites which they estimate struck in the 2nd century BCE.
Depth (cm.) Thickness (cm.) Seismite Type Modeled Age (± 1σ) Modeled Age (± 2σ) Quake Assignment (Kagan) Quake Assignment (Williams)
393 l 4 121 BCE ± 25 119 BCE ± 58 mid 2nd century BCE possibly ~150 BCE southern Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake
402 l.5 4 151 BCE ± 21 150 BCE ± 55 mid 2nd century BCE possibly ~150 BCE southern Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake
Dead Sea - En Gedi possible 7.9 - 8.8 Migowski et. al. (2004) dated a 1 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 302.48 cm. (3.0248 m) to 140 BCE.
Dead Sea - Nahal Ze 'elim possible 8.2 - 9.0 (All sites) At site ZA-2, Kagan et al (2011) observed a 8 cm. thick Type 4 intraclast breccia seismite at a depth of 516 cm. with modeled ages of 103 BCE ± 37 (1σ) and 103 BCE ± 75 (2σ). They suggested it struck in the middle of the 2nd century BCE. It may have formed during the southern Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake.

At site ZA-1, Kagan et al (2011) in Table 4 reports a 15 cm. thick seismite which they also assigned a date of mid second century BCE (i.e., assumed to be the same seismite). This appears to be the same seismite which Ken-Tor et al (2001a) labeled as Event A. Event A is an 11 cm. thick Type 4 seismite which Ken-Tor et al (2001a) dated as 200 BCE ± 160 (± 2σ) and estimated the most probable age as 400-200 BCE. Ken-Tor et al (2001a) assigned Event A to to the potentially dubious 64 BCE Pig on the Wall Quake. Williams (2004) and Agnon et. al (2006) redated Event A to better match the radiocarbon dates. Williams (2004) and Agnon et. al (2006) estimated dates of ~150 BCE and ~140 BCE respectively.
Araba - Introduction n/a n/a n/a
Araba - Taybeh Trench possible ≥ 7 LeFevre et al. (2018) reports a modeled age for Event E6 of 139 BCE ± 22.
Araba - Qatar Trench unlikely ≥ 7 Klinger et. al. (2015) did not observe any mid 2nd century BCE seismic events.
Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Dinar Trenches



Altunel et al (1999) claim evidence for a ~80 BCE Apamea Earthquake in Event 2 from their trenches but only two useful radiocarbon dates were obtained in their paleoseismic study. The date constraints from these two samples are large (~1550 BCE - 1360 ± 50 CE) and their historical earthquake assignment is speculative - based on consulting earthquake catalogs during that time span.



Hacipasa Trenches

The oldest event identified in the Ziyaret Trench dated to before 983 CE. A lower bound on age was not available due to insufficient radiocarbon dates.



Tekieh Trenches

Gomez et. al. (2003:15) may have seen evidence for an earthquake in the 1st or 2nd century BCE in Event B. Event B is estimated to have created ~ 2 meters of left lateral strike slip displacement which translates to an estimated Magnitude between 7.0 and 7.3 (7.0 and 7.2 according to Gomez et al, 2003:16-17). In terms of dating, an upper bound for Event B is 170 BCE - 20 CE while a lower bound for Events B and and the older Event C is from 1690 - 1400 BCE.



Tabarja Benches

Elias et al (2007) examined uplifted benches on the Lebanese coast between Sarafand and Tripolis; some in the vicinity of Tabarja (~20 km. NE of Beirut). They identified four uplifts from 3 or more [sizeable Mw = ~7.5] earthquakes in the past ca. 6-7 ka. They attributed the latest uplift (B1) to the 551 CE Beirut Quake while the earlier events (B2, B3, and B4) were no more precisely dated than between ~5000 BCE and 551 CE. Bench uplift on the earlier events (B2, B3, and B4) would likely have been due to uplift on the Mount Lebanon Thrust system - as was surmised for Event B1 and the 551 CE Beirut Quake.



Jarmaq Trench

Nemer and Meghraoui (2006) date Event Y to between 2920-2879 BCE and 84-239 CE



Qiryat-Shemona Rockfalls

Kanari, M. (2008) examined rockfalls in Qiryat-Shemona which were attributed to earthquakes. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating was performed on soil samples beneath the fallen rocks. Kanari et al (2019) assigned Sample ID QS-6 to an earthquake in 199 BCE but the wide spread in ages indicate that this event could have occurred in the 2nd century BCE.



Bet Zayda (aka Beteiha)

Wechsler at al. (2014) records event CH4-E6 with a modeled age of 392 BCE – 91 CE.



Jordan Valley - Dir Hagla Trenches

Reches and Hoexter (1981) report that Event A was dated from 200 BCE - 200 CE and exhibited 3.5 m of vertical displacement. Although the total vertical displacement could have been created by more than one seismic event, there were no broken layers between Event A the next Event (B) which was dated to between 700 and 900 CE. Further, they interpreted Event A created a fault scarp on the site. Kagan, E., et al. (2011) noted that the dip slip could have been magnified by local variations in the strike of the fault.



Dead Sea - Seismite Types



Dead Sea - Nahal Darga

Enzel et. al. (2000) identified a 20 cm. thick seismite in coarse grained lithology in Deformed Unit 8 in Stratigraphic Unit 10 which dated to 450-50 BCE (2400-2000 yrs BP).



Dead Sea - En Feshka

Kagan et al (2011) identified two seismites which they estimate struck in the 2nd century BCE.

Depth (cm.) Thickness (cm.) Seismite Type Modeled Age (± 1σ) Modeled Age (± 2σ) Quake Assignment (Kagan) Quake Assignment (Williams)
393 l 4 121 BCE ± 25 119 BCE ± 58 mid 2nd century BCE possibly ~150 BCE southern Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake
402 l.5 4 151 BCE ± 21 150 BCE ± 55 mid 2nd century BCE possibly ~150 BCE southern Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake


Dead Sea - En Gedi

Migowski et. al. (2004) dated a 1 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 302.48 cm. (3.0248 m) to 140 BCE.



Dead Sea - Nahal Ze 'elim

ZA-2
At site ZA-2, Kagan et al (2011) observed a 8 cm. thick Type 4 intraclast breccia seismite at a depth of 516 cm. with modeled ages of 103 BCE ± 37 (1σ) and 103 BCE ± 75 (2σ). They suggested it struck in the middle of the 2nd century BCE. It may have formed during the southern Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake.
ZA-1
At site ZA-1, Kagan et al (2011) in Table 4 reports a 15 cm. thick seismite which they also assigned a date of mid second century BCE (i.e., assumed to be the same seismite). This appears to be the same seismite which Ken-Tor et al (2001a) labeled as Event A. Event A is an 11 cm. thick Type 4 seismite which Ken-Tor et al (2001a) dated as 200 BCE ± 160 (± 2σ) and estimated the most probable age as 400-200 BCE. Ken-Tor et al (2001a) assigned Event A to to the potentially dubious 64 BCE Pig on the Wall Quake. Williams (2004) and Agnon et. al (2006) redated Event A to better match the radiocarbon dates. Williams (2004) and Agnon et. al (2006) estimated dates of ~150 BCE and ~140 BCE respectively.



Araba - Introduction



Araba - Taybeh Trench

LeFevre et al. (2018) reports a modeled age for Event E6 of 139 BCE ± 22.



Araba - Qatar Trench

Klinger et. al. (2015) did not observe any mid 2nd century BCE seismic events.



Notes

Paleoclimate - Droughts

References