Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God Hardcover – April 13, 2008
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"[A] deeply researched and compellingly written book. Apocalypse is a winning combination of cautious interdisciplinary investigation and interpretation, writing suitable for a general readership, and excellent illustrations. Although it will deliberately irritate many archaeologists, it should also provoke a serious reconsideration of the archaeological record. [T]he evidence for earthquakes in prehistorical change may be staring archaeologists in the face."--Andrew Robinson, Nature
"The theory that earthquakes may have caused the destruction of many ancient cities is unpopular and controversial. Amos Nur's book illustrated these ideas with convincing prose and meticulous research. Nur introduces the reader to a relatively new science...called Archaeoseismology. The reader will dosciver that the earthquakes that have occurred in the more recent times...have parallels to the remnants of destruction left from earthquakes in the distant past. Apocalypse is a result of [Nur's] determined effort to expell the fallacies in archaeology with the hard science of geophysics."--Lee Gooden, ForeWord Magazine
"In Apocalypse...Amos Nur compellingly proposes seismic sources for civilizational collapses that the Bible and the Classics attribute to other causes."--Anneli Rufus, East Bay Express
"[Amos Nur] delivers a fascinating mini-course full of detail, speculation and a challenge to previous archaeological interpretations. Nur examines the record of earthquakes in the seismically active 'Holy Land.' [R]eaders, regardless of religious persuasion, will appreciate the connections between geological and archaeological evidence and sections of the Bible. Both believers and athiests will enjoy pondering Nur's discussions of material from the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls."--Fred Bortz, Seattle Times
"Apocalypse . . . is Nur's attempt to present the fresh-faced discipline of earthquake archaeology to a wider public audience."--Iain Stewart, Times Higher Education
"In Apocalypse, Nur argues that historical earthquake events explain most of the destruction of several well-known Near East settlements. . . . This volume makes a fine--albeit controversial--contribution to traditional perspectives."--M. Evans, Choice
"Nur's book provides a clear, fast-reading, yet cautious and measured account of what archaeologists truly need to know about the geology and physics of earthquakes. . . . The text is liberally sprinkled with prime examples from both the Old and New Worlds. If you work in a seismic area, you owe it to yourself to curl up with this gem."--E.W. Barber, American Journal of Archaeology
"[T]he writing is very approachable, and the book is accessible to a broader audience, including geophysicists and the general public. I found it an enjoyable read and was interested to learn about this intersection of geophysics and archeology and also to be reminded of details from long-forgotten ancient history classes."--Seth S. Haines, Leading Edge
"Recognizing earthquake damage in the shifted foundations and toppled arches of historic ruins is vital today because the scientific record of world earthquake risks is still incomplete. Apocalypse explains where and why ancient earthquakes struck and could strike again."--MCEER Information Service
"No doubt, seldom could any book be so provoking in discussions on geophysical contributions to societal collapse in ancient times as Apocalypse is."--Marek Lewandowski, Pure and Applied Geophysics
"Having read this book with interest it is clear that there is far more evidence for earthquake activity in the archaeological record than we currently acknowledge and that archaeologists need to treat the phenomenon with greater regard. The book is well written and highly accessible and the partnership of Nur and Burgess has clearly worked to the benefit of the reader."--John Grattan, Journal of Archaeological Science
"Does this study, which chronicles the history and archaeology of ancient and modern earthquakes in both the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean region, warrant the attention of scholars and interested laymen? Absolutely!"--William S. Arnett, Historian
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Author Amos Nur with Dawn Burgess looks at how geology has affected history -- and it's the immense changes that an earthquake can unleash on civilization. Nur, a professor at Stanford University in California, takes a closer look at the end of the Bronze Age, about 300-500 BCE, and comes up with some surprising new theories for why so many civilizations failed in such a short span of time.
The traditional theory is that the eastern Mediterranean was overrun by what was known as the Sea Peoples, who looted and burned cities in their wake, leaving not much else behind but scorched ruins. What skeletal remains have been found have been explained away by war injuries, and left at that. If the idea of earthquakes causing destruction came up, many archaeologists dismissed the notion out of hand, saying that it was very unlikely and not very possible.
Amos Nur takes a very different track, however. By using geology, archaeology, and even biblical legend, he gives a provocative new theory that much of the Bronze Age civilizations came to an end by a series of earthquakes, and triggered tsunamis.Read more ›
Most of the book examines the events at the end of the Bronze Age, when something caused a widespread collapse in Mediterranean societies. Heretofore most historians had believed that invasions from hostile Sea Peoples and other interlopers had caused this decline, but Nur, after looking at the ruins, examining human remains, and checking sites for the tell tale signs of tremors, is persuasive that the region suffered a deadly rash of earthquakes.
Among the most interesting parts of this book are Nur's examinations of Biblical prophecies to see if they could provide clues about earthquakes and other sesmic events. I also found his discussion of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and its impact on Enlightenment Europe fascinating.
This is a well written work, scholarly but accessible to non-scientists. It should have a great influence on new interpretations and understandings of the history of the ancient world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
His theory is okay, but a whole book of it? Could have been more succinct. Not very scientific.Published 14 months ago by Ruth Mikkelsen
Very interesting book. A nice combination of archeology, geophysics and the sparks that show up when both sciences "collide". Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lisandro Rojas
This book is an enjoyable and interesting read. Nur offers a unique, and perhaps somewhat controversial, hypothesis by arguing that earthquakes may have played a greater role in... Read morePublished on November 11, 2013 by J.I. Black
If one has ever wondered why the Greek and Roman structures that remain present frequently as piles of ruble or "tells" in the landscape of the ancient world, here is a... Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by J. Carroll
Professor Nur asks us to consider the geologic evidence that conflicts at times with traditional archaeology. Read morePublished on October 3, 2009 by Gilbert Reeser
As someone who is interested in archaeology, geology and anthropology, but not a "professional", I found this book straightforward and interesting. Read morePublished on October 2, 2009 by Russell E. Adams
The author's thesis is infrequent, very large earthquakes have had large influences on the course of history, especially in the Mid East and Eastern Medeterranean. Read morePublished on September 13, 2009 by DJohnson
This book is, I regret to say, a shallow look at earthquakes. It presents and represents numerous times, the authors contention, probably valid, that archeologists don't give... Read morePublished on June 25, 2009 by Richard L. Davis
...but then, I'm a geologist. What we call Civilization is just a thin veneer when all $%^& breaks loose. Recall the aftermath of Katrina? Read morePublished on November 10, 2008 by Toober