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Fortress at Arad Quake

~250 BCE

by Jefferson Williams

Introduction & Summary

Archeoseismic Evidence from the Fortress at Tel Arad and 'En Erga along with paleoseismic evidence suggests that a mid 3rd century BCE earthquake struck the area. This may or may not be related to tsunamogenic evidence from Elat.

Textual Evidence

Archeoseismic Evidence

Location Status Intensity Comments
Fortress at Arad probable ≥ 8
En Erga probable 9 - 10 Korzhenkov and Erickson-Gini (2003) estimate Intensity of 9-10, epicenter to the ENE probably in the area of the Dead Sea Fault zone, situated few km east of Ein Erga, shift of few tons [of] travertine blocks indicate ground acceleration exceeded 1 g.
Intensity Estimate of Korzhenkov and Erickson-Gini (2003) used due to shifts of travertine blocks.

Archeoseismic Evidence is examined on a case by case basis below
Fortress at Arad

Transliterated Name Language Name
Tel Arad Hebrew תל ערד
Tel Arad Arabic تل عراد‎‎

Tel Arad has a long sporadic history of occupation going back to at least the Chalcolithic period (Ruth Amiran and Ornit Ilan in Stern et al, 1993). At various times, it was under Canaanite, Ancient Israelite (possibly Kenite), Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Arabic control but has been effectively abandoned for over a thousand years (Miriam Aharoni, Ruth Amiran, and Ornit Ilan in Stern et al, 1993). Herzog, Z. (2002) excavated at the Citadel and found what appears to be earthquake evidence from the 3rd century BCE.


Herzog, Z. (2002) attributed observed damage at Tel Arad during the Hellenistic Period to a strong earthquake during the middle of the 3rd century BCE. Apparent seismic damage was observed at the southern and eastern wings of the fortress and in two cisterns where roof collapse was observed. Dating this damage is based on Hellenistic pottery shards found inside a debris filled depression that was presumed to have been caused by the earthquake and late Hellenistic structures built atop this debris filled depression and elsewhere. Hellenistic Structures were dated based on toothed chisel marks. Herzog, Z. (2002:76) cited similarly related damage at nearby locations as support for seismic damage.
The water system of Arad is a unique example of a water storage system combined with a postern for emergency use. An earthquake apparently caused the collapse of the Arad water system as well as other systems in the south. From the excavations at Masada and Qumran, we know that earthquakes occurred during the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE (Karcz and Kafri 1978). During that same period, the water system at Tel Beersheba was also destroyed. Such a date is supported by the late Hellenistic sherds found amid the debris in depressions created as a result of the collapse (Fig. 4 ). The same episode probably also caused the collapse of the well in the lower city.
Seismic Effects

Herzog, Z. (2002:12-13) discussed damage to the fortress and the roofs of two water cisterns
Apparent damage to the southern and eastern wings of the fortress occurred during the Hellenistic period (3rd century BCE). The massive foundations, intended to guarantee the stability of a large tower erected at the centre of the site, completely destroyed remains of earlier periods. Additional severe damage resulted from the collapse of the rock roof of two of the water cisterns (Fig. 3 ). This event took place during the Hellenistic period, apparently the result of a strong earthquake. The collapse caused the complete destruction of all occupational remains and created a deep depression in the northwestern sector of the fortress. The depression was partly filled in with debris and partly built over by later Hellenistic-period structures. Moreover, the levelling of the depression with debris from the close surroundings eliminated most of the upper Iron Age remains (Strata VII and VI) in this area (Fig. 4 ). Consequently, the Hellenistic structures were erected at elevations similar to those of the Iron Age strata elsewhere. This chaotic process is responsible for the lack of architectural remains of the Iron Age strata in this area.
Herzog, Z. (2002:74) further discussed damage to the two water cisterns
Based on evidence provided by the only intact cistern, the subterranean reservoir consisted of elliptical cisterns. There appear to have been three cisterns. The rock ceilings of two of these collapsed during the Hellenistic period. The considerable thickness of the rock layer that remained above the reservoir (approximately 2 m.) indicates that the collapse was not a result of the pressure of settlement layers, but the consequence of a powerful earthquake.
Intensity Estimates

Effect Description Intensity
Collapsed Vaults Water Cistern Roofs VIII +
Seismic Uplift/Subsidence VI +
The archeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224 big pdf) .
'En Erga
Plan View of Seismic Damage at Ein Erga Fig. 3 Ein Erga

Plan of the fort with marked types of deformations

Khorzhenkov and Erickson-Gini (2003)


The Nabatean Fort of 'En Erga was constructed on the early branch of the Incense Road (the Darb es-Sultan) between Petra and Gaza during the Hellenistic period in the 3rd century BCE ( Khorzhenkov and Erickson-Gini, 2003). However, 'En Erga was abandoned before it was ever occupied ( Khorzhenkov and Erickson-Gini, 2003). Khorzhenkov and Erickson-Gini (2003) relate that no evidence of occupation was found anywhere in the structure or surrounding area adding:
The building appears to be unfinished as the result of a sudden and complete abandonment due to an earthquake. It is theorized that the fort was abandoned before it was completed and that a new fort was constructed a kilometer to the southwest, next to the spring of Ein Rahel and off of the main route.

Korzhenkov and Erickson-Gini (2003) dated the destruction based on examination of the finds from the excavation. A Hellenistic Bowl appears to have been particularly diagnostic.
A single Hellenistic incurved bowl dated to the 3rd cent. B.C. was found buried below the dirt floor of one of the rooms, probably placed there as a foundation deposit. This practice was found in Nabataean structures in later periods, including the second occupational phase at Ein Rahel and at Mampsis and Petra.

Seismic Effects

The authors mention Some details are shown in the Seismic Effects table below followed by an archaeoseismic analysis.

Seismic Effects

Seismic Effect Plan Figure(s) Comments
Collapse Features 6 ab In the ruins of the Ein Erga fort the walls facing the seismic wave collapsed systematically toward the seismically induced compression strain, whereas walls aligned parallel to the seismic wave lost support and collapsed in a random manner. A correlation between the orientation of construction elements and the direction of collapse was examined.

The wall oriented in the direction of NS180° in the Ein Erga fort reveals a clear picture of the collapse: the lower part of the wall is intact (as can be easily seen from its western side), whereas the upper its part collapsed southward (Fig. 6 a. b). This wall reveals collapse oriented towards E90°, whereas walls oriented in a perpendicular direction collapsed on both sides of the original wall's position. Fragments of the destroyed wall were thrown off up to 3.2 m from the structure. This would indicate that the direction of seismic wave propagation was roughly perpendicular to the NS oriented walls. The cone of collapse is asymmetric in form. This may indicate that the propagation of the seismic wave was in an E-W direction, but under some angle to the wall from ENE.
Displacements of Rock Fragments and Building Elements 7 The shift of rock fragments and building elements may be used in a similar manner as wall inclination or block collapse. Some construction elements or rock fragments are shifted toward an epicenter due to inertia. Such examples were observed in the Ein Erga fort: three travertine blocks of the travertine plate underlying nearly the entire fort were thrown eastward (see Fig. 3 - Plan) and rotated clockwise. One of these was displaced horizontally, 1.7 m (Fig. 7) eastward. A large block of travertine bedrock lies on the lower rows of the former wall and measures 1.40 m in length, 0.90m in width and 0.42m high. It weighs approximately 2 tons. These features indicate that the seismic energy radiated from the ENE.

Archaeoseismic Analysis

Korzhenkov and Erickson-Gini (2003) provided the following analysis:

The study of the destruction of the Ein Erga fort reveals a systematic nature of dislocations (see Fig. 3 ):
  1. NS oriented walls revealed collapse (see Fig. 6 ) and tilt toward east, whereas perpendicular oriented walls tilted and collapsed without a noticeable systematic pattern. Several tons of travertine blocks were torn from the source plate and thrown aside (see Fig. 3 and 7 ) at a distance of more than 1 m eastward. These details indicate that the seismic shock arrived approximately along the east-west axis, probably from the east.
  2. Except throwing travertine blocks in Ein Erga were systematically turned clockwise (see Fig. 3 ). Rotation itself involves shear stresses acted along walls, thus the seismic wave should arrive with some angle to the walls. Such situation is possible if the compression wave came from ENE at angle of approximately 60°.
Thus, the epicenter was located somewhere ENE from the Ein Erga, and the very strong degree of deformations indicate that the epicenter was in some vicinity, probably in the area of the Dead Sea Fault zone, situated few km east of Ein Erga. The degree of destruction corresponds to the earthquake intensity of I = IX–X (MSK-64 scale), evidence of which are shift of few tons [of] travertine blocks. To move these blocks on a distance more than 1 m one can involve huge ground acceleration reaching a value of probably more than [1] g.

Intensity Estimates

Effect Description Intensity
Collapsed Walls Southern Wall and NS Wall VIII +
Displaced Masonry Blocks VIII +
The archeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224 big pdf) .

Seismic Parameters from Khorzhenkov and Erickson-Gini (2003)

Khorzhenkov and Erickson-Gini (2003) estimated that the epicenter was located somewhere ENE from the Ein Erga, and the very strong degree of deformations indicate that the epicenter was in some vicinity, probably in the area of the Dead Sea Fault zone, situated few km east of Ein Erga. The degree of destruction corresponds to the earthquake intensity of I = IX–X (MSK-64 scale), evidence of which are shift of few tons [of] travertine blocks. To move these blocks on a distance more than 1 m one can involve huge ground acceleration reaching a value of probably more than [1] g.

Tsunamogenic Evidence

Elat Cores Fig. 4

Description and summary of analysis from Tur Yam and North Beach cores.

‘g’ = granule (2-4mm)
‘p’ = pebble (4-64mm)
‘c’ = cobble (64-256mm).

Granulometry particle size distribution completed using Ocean Data View version 4.3.10. Correlation between the anomalous horizons of both cores presented. Detail of foraminifer counts and radiocarbon ages available in data repository. Examples of color ranges and corrasion of foraminifera in anomalous horizon as presented in Amphistegina lobifera (d’Orbigny 1826).

Goodman Tchernov et al (2016)

Goodman Tchernov et al (2016) identified a paleo tsunami deposit close to Elat from two submarine cores taken at North Beach and Tur Yam locations. They described the dating as follows:
The radiocarbon age from the North Beach places the maximum age at 100–400 BC (2 sigma error), while the Tur Yam radiocarbon age brackets the horizon as a minimum age of 100–500 BC (2 sigma error). Highest probability of these two radiocarbon ages place the event at about 2300 yBP, or around 200–300 BC (Data Repository).
The tsunamite deposit in the Tur Yam core was inferred from "an anomalous bed (~60cm) of more concentrated mixed shell and broken coral fragments of varying condition from pristine to heavily worn and eroded." The inferred tsunamite deposit in the North Beach core was encountered "at a depth of 160 cm down-core [where] the grain size increases to greater than coarse sand (>250 micron) and foraminifer abundances decrease significantly to either low or barren (0–150 individuals per cm3)." The anomalous bed in the North Beach Core was ~32 cm. thick.

Paleoseismic Evidence

Paleoseismic evidence is summarized below

Location Status Intensity Notes
Bet Zayda unlikely CH4-E6
Dead Sea - Seismite Types n/a n/a
Nahal Darga possible
En Feshka possible 6-9 several candidates all ~ 2 cm. thick
Deformation Types 1 or 4
En Gedi none reported
Nahal Ze 'elim possible 8-9 8 cm. thick Type 4 intraclast breccia
Taybeh Trench possible Event E7
Qatar Trench probable Event E7
Taba Sabhka Trench possible EQ IV

Each site will now be discussed separately.

Bet Zayda

Wechsler at al. (2014) records event CH4-E6 with a wide modeled age range from 392 BCE – 91 CE in paleoseismic trenches at Bet Zayda just north of the Sea of Galilee (aka Lake Kinneret).

Bet Zeyda Earthquakes
Figure 9

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).

Wechsler at al. (2014)

2D and 3D Paleoseismic Study at Bet Zayda

Results are based on a 2D and 3D paleoseismic study conducted over multiple years utilizing multiple trenches. Trenches were dug to examine paleo-channels which intersect the active Jordan Gorge Fault. A few paleo-channels were active long enough to record paleo-earthquakes. Initial work done by Marco et al (2005)) identified fault ruptures with two historical earthquakes which were dated as follows:

Date Displacement (m)
1202 CE ~2.2
1759 CE 0.5
Another channel dating between 3 and 5 ka was displaced up to 15 meters.

Subsequent work at the same location by Wechsler at al. (2014) revealed 8 more surface-rupturing earthquakes in two paleo-channels which were labeled as Channels 3 and 4. Radiocarbon sampling appears to have been sufficiently dense except for Event CH4-E6..

Bet Zayda Plots and Charts

Description Image Source
Age Model Wechsler at al. (2014)
Age Model
Wechsler at al. (2014)
Age Model
really big
Wechsler at al. (2014)
Map of
Wechsler at al. (2014)

Dead Sea

Seismite Types

Seismite Types of Wetzler et al (2010) are used in Intensity Estimates. Seismite Types from Kagan et al (2011) were converted to those of Wetzler et al (2010) to estimate Intensity.

Seismite Types (Wetzler et al, 2010)
Type Description
1 Linear waves
2 Asymmetric Billows
3 Coherent vortices
4 Breccia
Seismite Types (Kagan et al, 2011)
A 4 Intraclast breccia layer
B 4 Microbreccia
C 4 Liquefied sand layer within brecciated clay and aragonite
D 1, 2, or 3 Folded laminae
E 1 Small Fault millimeter -scale throw

Nahal Darga
Enzel et. al. (2000) report a 20 cm. thick seismite in Deformed Unit 8 in Stratigraphic Unit 10 which is dated to 250 BC +/- 200 (2000-2400 BP). Nahal Darga has much coarser grained lithology than other Dead Sea sites (e.g. En Feshka, En Gedi, and Nahal Ze 'elim) which results in thicker seismites, lower temporal resolution, and filtering out of all but the largest seismic events with high levels of local Intensity.

En Feshka
Kagan et al (2011) list several seismites from En Feshka at depths of 425-447 cm. which might fit this earthquake.

En Feshka Plots and Charts

Image Description Source
Age Model Kagan et al (2011)
Age Model - big Kagan et al (2011)
Age Model Kagan et al (2010)
Age Model - big Kagan et al (2010)

En Feshka Core (DSF) Photos

This core was taken in 1997 by GFZ/GSI

Image Description Image Description Image Description Image Description Image Description
Composite Core DSF
Sections B1-B5

0-499 cm.
Section B1

0-93 cm.
Section B2

100-197 cm.
Section B3

200-298 cm.
Section B4

300-396 cm.
Section B5

400-499 cm.

En Gedi (DSEn)
Migowski et. al. (2004) do not report a seismite in the middle of the 3rd century BCE.

En Gedi Core (DSEn) Charts and Plots

Image Description Source
Floating Varve Chronology
and Radiocarbon dates
Migowski et al (2004)
Floating Varve Chronology
and Radiocarbon dates -large
Migowski et al (2004)
Migowski's Date shift Migowski (2001)
Recounted Age-depth plot Neugebauer at al (2015)
Recounted Age-depth plot - large Neugebauer at al (2015)
Correlated Age-depth plots
of DSEn and ICDP 5017-1
Neugebauer at al (2015)
Comparison of paleoclimate proxies
from DSEn to other sites
Neugebauer at al (2015)
Core correlation
DSEn to ICDP 5017-1
Neugebauer at al (2015)
Core correlation
DSEn to ICDP 5017-1 -big
Neugebauer at al (2015)
Thin Section of Jerusalem Quake
showing varve counts
shallow section
Williams et. al. (2012)
Thin Section of Jerusalem Quake
showing varve counts
deep section
Williams et. al. (2012)
Thin Section of Jerusalem Quake
showing varve counts
shallow section - big
Williams et. al. (2012)
Thin Section of Jerusalem Quake
showing varve counts
deep section - big
Williams et. al. (2012)

En Gedi Core dating ambiguities

The En Gedi Core (DsEn) suffered from a limited amount of dateable material and the radiocarbon dates for the core are insufficiently sampled in depth to produce an age-depth model that is sufficiently reliable for detailed historical earthquake work in the Dead Sea. Migowski (2001) counted laminae in the core to create a floating varve chronology for depths between 0.78 and 3.02 m which was eventually translated into a year by year chronology from 140 BCE to 1458 CE . The seismites in the "counted interval" were compared to dates in Earthquake Catalogs [Ambraseys et al (1994), Amiran et al (1994), Guidoboni et al (1994), Ben-Menahem (1991), and Russell (1985)]. Relatively minor additional input was also derived from other studies in the region which likely relied on similar catalogs. Some of these catalogs contain errors and a critical examination of where the dates and locations of historical earthquakes reported in these catalogs came from was not undertaken. Migowski (2001) shifted the dates from the under-sampled radiocarbon derived age-depth model to make the floating varve chronology in the "counted interval" match dates from the earthquake catalogs. Without the shift, the dates did not match. This shift was shown in Migowski (2001)'s dissertation and mostly varies from ~200-~300 years. The "counted interval" dates are ~200-~300 years younger than the radiocarbon dates. Some of Migowski's shift was justified. Ken-Tor et al (2001) estimated ~40 years for plant remains to die (and start the radiocarbon clock) and reach final deposition in Nahal Ze'elim. This could be a bit longer in the deep water En Gedi site but 5 to 7.5 times longer (200-300 years) seems excessive. Although uncritical use of Earthquake catalogs by Migowski (2001) and Migowski et al (2004) led to a number of incorrectly dated seismites , the major "anchor" earthquakes (e.g. 31 BC, 1212 CE) seem to be correct.

Neugebauer (2015) and Neugebauer at al (2015) recounted laminae from 2.1 - 4.35 meters in the En Gedi Core (DsEn) while also making a stratigraphic correlation to ICDP Core 5017-1. Nine 14C dates were used from 1.58 - 6.12 m but samples KIA9123 (inside the Late Bronze Beach Ridge) and KIA1160 (the 1st sample below the Late Bronze Beach Ridge) were discarded as outliers. These two samples gave dates approximately 400 years older than what was expected for the Late Bronze Age Beach Ridge - a date which is fairly well constrained from other studies in the Dead Sea. This left 7 samples distributed over ~4.5 m - an average of 1 sample every 0.65 meters - not a lot. Their DSEn varve count, anchored to an age-depth model derived from these 7 samples, produced an average shift of ~300 years compared to Migowski et al (2004)'s chronology (i.e. it is ~300 years older). Although two well dated earthquakes were available to use as time markers (the Josephus Quake of 31 BCE and the Amos Quake(s) of ~750 BCE), they chose not to use earthquakes as chronological anchors (Ina Neugebauer personal communication, 2015). Instead, they used the Late Bronze Age Beach Ridge as evidenced by discarding the two radiocarbon samples. Using the Beach Ridge as a chronological anchor was likely a good decision as the Late Bronze Age Beach ridge is fairly well dated. Their newly counted chronology produced a paleoclimate reconstruction that aligned fairly well with data from other locations . Although paleoclimate proxies are not necessarily synchronous and suffer from greater chronological uncertainty than, for example, well dated earthquakes, the problem with their recount for our purposes does not lie with their relatively good fit to other site's paleoclimate proxies. That is probably approximately correct. The problem is they calibrated their count to the bottom of their counted interval (Late Bronze Age Beach Ridge) but did not have a calibration marker for the top.

In the En Gedi core (DSEn), the Late Bronze Age Beach Ridge (Unit II of Neugebauer et al, 2015) is found from depths 4.35 to 4.55 m. It's top coincides with the bottom of the recounted interval - far away from the overlap (2.1 - 3.02 m) with Migowski's counted interval. Thus, if there were any problems with the recounted dates (e.g. hiatuses or accumulating systemic errors) as one moved to the top of the recounted interval, they would go unnoticed. Varve counts in the overlapped interval were fairly similar - 583 according to Migowski (2001) vs. 518 according to Neugebauer et al (2015). There wasn't a major discrepancy in terms of varve count interpretation. But, the lack of a calibration point near the top of the recounted interval leaves one wondering if the recounted dates in the overlap are accurate and why Migowski's pre-shifted chronology doesn't correlate well with the reliable parts of the earthquake record.

Neugebauer at al (2015:5) counted 1351 varves with an uncertainty of 7.5% (Neugebauer at al, 2015:8). That leads to an uncertainty of ~100 varves by the time one gets to the top of the recounted interval away from the Late Bronze Age Beach Ridge calibration point. The Beach Ridge itself likely has an uncertainty of +/- 75 years. Add the two together and the uncertainty approaches Migowski's shift. In addition, roughly 15% of the recounted interval went through intraclast breccias (seismites) where the varves were uncountable and the varve count was interpolated with a questionable multiplication factor of 1.61 applied to the interpolated varve count (Neugebauer at al, 2015:5). Migowski et al (2004) also interpolated through the intraclast breccias however in her case she used the interpolation to line up with events out of the Earthquake catalogs.

Unfortunately, Neugebauer at al (2015)'s study did not resolve the uncertainties associated with Migowski's varve counts. Both studies lack a sufficiently robust calibration over the entire depth interval. Dead Sea laminae are difficult to count. They are not nearly as "well-behaved" as they are in the older Lisan formation or in Glacial varves. This was illustrated by Lopez-Merino et al (2016). Their study, which used seasonal palynology to ground truth varve counts, showed that between 1 and 5 laminae couplets (ie varves) could be deposited in a year . This study, undertaken in Nahal Ze'elim, represents a worst case scenario. It is essentially impossible to count varves in Nahal Ze 'elim because the site receives too much fluvial deposition which muddies up the varve count (pun intended) compared to the deeper water site of En Gedi. While the conclusions from Lopez-Merino et al (2016) cannot be generalized to the entire Dead Sea, it does point out that Holocene Dead Sea varve counts need to be calibrated to be used in Historical Earthquake studies. The calibration can come through anchor events such as strong earthquakes and/or clearly defined and dated paleoclimate events, seasonal palynology work (determining the season each laminae was deposited in), and/or dense radiocarbon dating - much denser than what is available from the En Gedi core (DESn). There may also be geochemical ways to calibrate varve counts.

In 2018, Jefferson Williams collected ~55 samples of dateable material from an erosional gully in En Gedi (aka the En Gedi Trench) located ~40 m from where the En Gedi Core (DsEn) was taken in 1997 . This erosional gully was not present when the En Gedi core was taken. It developed afterwards due to the steady drop in the level of the Dead Sea which has lowered base levels and creates continually deeper erosional features on the lake margins. Due to cost, these samples have not yet been dated but lab analysis of this material should resolve dating ambiguities in En Gedi. The samples are well distributed in depth (68 - 303 cm. deep) and can be viewed here in the Outcrop Library. Radiocarbon from the En Gedi Core can be viewed here. In the Google sheets presented on the radiocarbon page for the En Gedi Core, Neugebauer's radiocarbon samples and a reconciliation table can be viewed by clicking on the tab labeled Nueg15.

En Gedi Core (DSEn) Photos

Core Depths were measured from surface. The core was taken about a meter above the Dead Sea level which was ~ -411 m in 1997. In 2011, Jefferson Williams measured the elevation of the surface where the En Gedi Core (DSEn) was taken using his GPS. The recorded elevation was -411 m however GPS is less accurate measuring elevation than it is for Lat. and Long. so this depth measurement should be considered approximate.

Image Description Image Description Image Description Image Description
Composite Core
Sections C1, A2, A3, A4

19-397 cm.
Litholog and
Composite Core

47-325 cm.
Entire Core

-30 cm.-1022 cm.
Section C1

19-114 cm.
Section A2

114-196 cm.
Section A3

200-296 cm.
Section A4

300-397 cm.
1458 CE Quake

65-80 cm.
1202, 1212, and 1293 CE Quakes

90-115 cm.
1033 CE Quake

131-143 cm.
Thin Section

259.7-269.9 cm.
Thin Section

271.5-273.7 cm.
Thin Section

273.5-283.5 cm.
Thin Section

283.3-293.4 cm.
SEM Image
250x Magnification
Sample EG13

Nahal Ze 'elim (ZA2)
Kagan, et al (2011) list a 8 cm. thick seismite at a depth of 552 cm. which might fit this earthquake.


Image Description Source
Age Model Kagan et al (2011)
Age Model - big Kagan et al (2011)
Age Model with annotated dates Kagan (2011)
Age Model with annotated dates - big Kagan (2011)
Annotated Photo of ZA-3
ZA-3 = N wall of gully
ZA-2 = S wall of same gully
Kagan et al (2015)


On-site fault rupture suggests a minimum moment magnitude MW of 6.5 (Mcalpin, 2009:312).
Taybeh Trench
Event E7 in the Taybeh Trench (LeFevre et al. (2018)) could have been caused by this earthquake.

Taybeh Trench Earthquakes
Figure S5

Computed age model from OxCal v4.26 for the seismic events recorded in the trench.

LeFevre et al. (2018)

Taybeh Trench

Image Description Source
Age Model Lefevre et al (2018)
Age Model - big Lefevre et al (2018)
Trench Log Lefevre et al (2018)
Annotated Trench photomosaic Lefevre et al (2018)
Stratigraphic Column Lefevre et al (2018)
Stratigraphic Column - big Lefevre et al (2018)

Qatar Trench
Klinger et. al. (2015) hypothesized that Event E7 in a paleoseismic trench in the southern Arava near Qatar, Jordan may have been caused by an earthquake in ~150 BC or an earlier event (Date Range 338 BC – 213 BC). The Fortress at Arad Quake may be a better fit for this event than the Southern Dead Fish and Soldiers Quake of ~150 BC.

Qatar Trench

Image Description Source
Age Model Klinger et al (2015)
Age Model - big Klinger et al (2015)
Trench Log Klinger et al (2015)
Simplified Trench Log Klinger et al (2015)

Taba Sabhka Trench
Allison (2013) suggested that EQ IV, the oldest and most strongly expressed seismic event in the trench, was likely caused by a mid 8th century CE earthquake. However, this trench study suffered from a limited number of non outlier radiocarbon samples. Allison (2013) suggests that EQ IV struck (relatively soon) before a date provided by radiocarbon Sample 1 (774-943 CE) however there are two radiocarbon samples between Sample 1 and the termination (i.e. top) of EQ IV both of which suggest an older age - Sample 17 (428-591 CE) and Sample 18 (345-43 BCE). While Allison (2013) suggested that Sample 18 was reworked, it seems more likely that Samples 17 and 18 present valid dates and EQ IV is a much older seismic event from between the 4th and 2nd century BCE.

Note: Earthquakes are labeled I-IV in all diagrams but when Allison (2013) discusses the possibility that there were two or three earthquakes instead of four, she relabels the earthquakes. This relabeling is reflected in the Google sheets table below for the 2 and 3 earthquake models.

Taba Sabhka Trench

Image Description Source
Paleoseismic Faulting Allison (2013)
Paleoseismic Faulting - big Allison (2013)
Trench Cross-Sections Allison (2013)


Paleoclimate - Droughts