Four ancient historians (Justin, John Malalas,
Dio Cassius, and Orosius) writing between the 1st and 6th century AD
provide conflicting accounts of an earthquake
that destroyed Antioch, Syria around 65 BC (Guidoboni et. al., 1994).
assigns a date range of 69-66 BC while Guidoboni et. al. (1994) approximate that it occurred around 65 BC. Both note the difficulties in resolving chronology when examining the sources.
There is archeoseismic evidence at Tel Sukas ~100 km.
SSW of Antioch which Ambraseys (2009) states is dated to 68 BC based on a reading of history rather than any chronological information from the excavation.
Vadun Jacob aka Tel Ateret
Ellenblum et. al. (2015)
noted possible archeoseismic damage in the mid first century BC at Tel Ateret (aka Vadun Jacob)– a location which straddles an active fault.
They estimate ~1.5 meters of fault slip occurred on the site between its abandonment probably in the middle of the first century BC and when a
was built at the end of the 12th century AD. Due to the sites abandonment and lack of new construction during this time, it is difficult to resolve the ~1.5 meters
of slip into individual earthquake events. However, abandonment of the site may have been precipitated by an earthquake. The latest
Hellenistic coin excavated from
the site dates to 65/64 BC indicating desertion of the site occurred afterwards.
Paleoseismic Evidence for an earthquake(s) associated with the Pompey Quake is summarized below:
not reported - expected to be masked by the 31 BC Josephus Quake
Nahal Ze 'elim (ZA2)
Tekieh Trenches Syria
Gomez et. al. (2003, p. 15)
may have seen evidence for an earthquake in the 1st or 2nd century BCE in paleoseismic trenches in Syria (Event B). Event B is estimated to have created ~ 2 meters of displacement Gomez et. al. (2003, pp. 16-17).
Wechsler at al. (2014) records event CH4-E6 (modeled age 392 BCE – 91 CE) in paleoseismic trenches at Bet Zayda just north of the Sea of Galilee (aka Lake Kinneret).
As the closest part of the Dead Sea is 410 km. away from Tel Sukas and 510 km. away from Antioch, it is extremely unlikely that any seismites would have been formed from
this distant earthquake. For a more extensive discussion of Dead Sea seismites from around this time, see
the Paleoseismic Evidence section of
Pig on the Wall Quake