Simon Jusseret

Simon Jusseret

is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin (USA) and a member of the Aegean Interdisciplinary Studies research group at Universite catholique de Louvain (Belgium)

  • Minoan Earthquakes: Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity

    In a recent post on this forum, Angela Landgraf shared a digest of the long and winding road having led to the publication of Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions. Reading this post in the midst of wrapping up the edition of our Minoan Earthquakes volume, I could only sympathize with her concerns and hopes for the future of edited books at a time when impact factors and other author-level metrics all too often dictate academic choices.

    Four years and a half (!) after the Out of Rubble Leuven workshop (29-30 November 2012), we are proud to announce the publication of Minoan Earthquakes: Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity at Leuven University Press. Reasons for such delay are manifold but chief among them is our editorial choice of producing a coherent volume that might be used as an up-to-date toolbox for readers interested in the broader field of archaeoseismology – not just Minoan archaeoseismology – and its (necessary) relationship to other, better established, disciplines. This choice is reflected by the structure of the book and breadth of topics covered by its authors, ranging from seismology, paleoseismology, geophysics, architecture, engineering and, of course, Minoan archaeology. Although we will ultimately leave readers to judge how successful we were in this endeavor, we are encouraged by Iain Stewart’s appreciation of the volume:

    The impressive breadth and depth of this volume is testimony to how far the field has progressed in the past two decades. This volume deserves to be read widely by earthquake scientists and archaeologists, for the significance of its messages extends far beyond the Minoan arena.

    We would like to take the opportunity of this post to thank again our panel of authors and reviewers for their trust, patience, and hard work – this project would never have been completed without their expertise and dedication. We are also grateful to the editorial team at Leuven University Press for skillfully shepherding this book to publication. Although we would have liked to see this volume appear much earlier, we believe (hope) the result was worth the wait.

    The book can be purchased directly from Leuven University Press.

     

    Table of contents:

    List of key abbreviations and definitions

    Chronological table

     

    Part 1: Introduction and theoretical background

    Chapter 1

    ‘In bulls doth the Earth-Shaker delight’ – Introduction to the volume (Jan Driessen)

    Chapter 2

    Seismological issues of concern for archaeoseismology (Susan E. Hough)

    Chapter 3

    Palaeoseismology (James P. McCalpin)

    Chapter 4

    Archaeoseismology (Manuel Sintubin)

    Chapter 5

    Non-invasive techniques in archaeoseismology (Christoph Grützner & Thomas Wiatr)

     

    Part 2: Geological and seismotectonic context

    Chapter 6

    The geological setting of Crete: an overview (Charalampos Fassoulas)

    Chapter 7

    Earthquake sources and seismotectonics in the area of Crete (Gerassimos A. Papadopoulos)

    Chapter 8

    The palaeoseismological study of capable faults on Crete (Jack Mason & Klaus Reicherter)

     

    Part 3: Minoan archaeoseismology

     Chapter 9

    Archaeoseismological research on Minoan Crete: past and present (Simon Jusseret)

    Chapter 10

    An architectural style of openness and mutability as stimulus for the development of an earthquake-resistant building technology at Akrotiri, Thera, and Minoan Crete (Clairy Palyvou)

    Chapter 11

    Minoan structural systems: earthquake-resistant characteristics. The role of timber (Eleftheria Tsakanika)

     

    Part 4: Case studies

    Chapter 12

    Evidence for three earthquakes at Mochlos in the Neopalatial period, c. 1700-1430 BC (Jeffrey S. Soles, Floyd W. McCoy & Rhonda Suka)

     Chapter 13

    Punctuation in palatial prehistory: earthquakes as the stratigraphical markers of the 18th-15th centuries BC in central Crete (Colin F. Macdonald)

    Chapter 14

    Man the measure: earthquakes as depositional agents in Minoan Crete (Tim Cunningham)

     

    Part 5: Critical appraisal and conclusion

     Chapter 15

    Earthquakes and Minoan Crete: breaking the myth through interdisciplinarity (Simon Jusseret & Manuel Sintubin)

     

    About the authors

    About the editors

    Index

     

  • 4-year postdoctoral research position in coastal paleoseismology

    The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Geological Survey of Belgium, Brussels, invites applicants for a 4-year research fellow (postdoctoral level) in coastal paleoseismology/Quaternary environmental change. Starting date: 1 June 2014.

    The successful candidate will work in the framework of a 4-year research project, funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office: ‘QuakeRecNankai’ – Paleo-tsunami and earthquake records of ruptures along the Nankai Trough, offshore South-Central Japan.

    more

  • Farming community killed by earthquake-related mudflows in China c. 4000 years ago

    Recent archaeoseismological studies have provided us with spectacular examples of skeletons as earthquake archaeological effects. Cases include the Neolithic skeletons of Tell es-Sultan, ancient Jericho (one of them beheaded by a fracture crossing the site!) published by Alfonsi et al. in SRL (2012) and the skeletons smashed by building collapse reported by Berberian et al. in JAS (2012).

    To this list should now be added the case of Lajia (Guanting Basin, central China), where a team of Chinese researchers uncovered a series of skeletons buried under a thick layer of clay interpreted as the result of an enormous, earthquake-related mudflow c. 3950 cal BP. more

  • New archaeoseismology paper in Geoarchaeology

    A new article on archaeoseismology appeared yesterday in Geoarchaeology’s Early View section. In this paper, Karabacak and colleagues present archaeoseismological evidence in the Roman stadium of ancient Kibyra (southwest Turkey). Earthquake archaeological damage includes surface faulting, systematically collapsed columns, dilated and collapsed walls, as well as rotated and displaced blocks. Their study suggests that a previously unknown seismic event (Io = VIII-IX) may have struck this region of Turkey around the 10-11 th century AD. more

  • Earthquakes and Late Bronze Age collapse: the end of an old myth?

    The collapse of Bronze Age civilizations c.1200 BC remains a persistent riddle in Eastern Mediterranean archaeology. Earthquakes, attacks of the Sea Peoples, climatic deterioration, and socio-political unrest are among the most frequently suggested causes for this phenomenon. In the last issue of Seismological Research Letters (January/February 2013), Manuel Sintubin and myself attempt to retrace the origins of the idea according to which earthquakes may have caused the demise of Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean societies. The article features reproductions of unpublished archival documents held by the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (Nicosia). The free-access version of the paper can be found here. Happy reading!

     

  • Ancient Geohazards in the Eastern Mediterranean – Call for posters

    In the frame of the forthcoming international workshop “Out of Rubble: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Minoan Earthquakes” (Leuven, Belgium, 29-30 November 2012), we welcome poster proposals on the topic “Ancient Geohazards in the Eastern Mediterranean”. Posters should address any issue related to the definition of ancient geohazards in the Eastern Mediterranean (e.g. tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, extreme climatic events).
    More information: click here

    more

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