Migowski et. al. (2004)
assigned a 0.66 cm. thick seismite from the 1997 GFZ/GSI En Gedi core to a date of ~175 AD. A seismic event was also observed in trenches near Bet Zayda
whose modeled ages also suggest an earthquake around 175 AD.
Although there is no known historically reported earthquake in Judea around 175 AD, this was a time period in the aftermath of the
Bar Kokhba revolt which led to the Jewish diaspora and
well before the Roman Empire patronized Christianity and various authors paid attention to this part of the world.
Hence, it should not be surprising that the sources are silent. Thus, despite a lack of textual information, paleoseismic evidence suggests an earthquake struck around this time.
Although the historical sources are silent about this possible earthquake, it should be noted that the historical sources are generally silent about all earthquakes
in the southern Levant in the 2nd century AD. We do not have a source like Josephus for this time frame. It was not until
Emperor Constantine (306 - 337 AD) patronized Christianity that
we begin to have extant historical sources paying attention to this part of the world.
Wechsler at al. (2014) report modeled ages of 137 - 206 CE for event CH4-E5. Although they suggested
the Eusebius Mystery Quake as a possible historical report for Event CH4-E5,
there are doubts whether the
Eusebius Mystery Quake was recorded accurately in time and/or space.
A ~175 AD earthquake fits well within the modeled ages for Event CH4-E5 and suggests an earthquake struck Judea around this time.
Probability density functions for all paleoseismic events, based on the OxCal modeling.
Historically known earthquakes are marked by gray lines. The age extent of each channel is marked by rectangles.
There is an age uncertainty as to the age of the oldest units in channel 4 (units 490-499) marked by a dashed rectangle.
Channel 1 refers to the channel complex studied by Marco et al. (2005).