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Ancient Natural Disasters

Information on ancient natural disasters, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and other storms.

Mt. Vesuvius
Mt. Vesuvius is a volcano that erupted on August 24 A.D. 79 blanketing the towns and 1000s of residents of Pompeii, Stabiae, and Herculaneum. The volcano is still a threat and the population of the area is much greater today.

Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs
Not really "natural" disasters, but many of the lethal methods take advantage of nature.

Mythology adds zest to this fascinating survey of man's inhumanity to man and demonstration of how only minor details about how best to destroy one's enemy have changed over the millennia.

Ancient Chinese Population Explosion
Early on the Chinese already had problems based on excess population.

Plagues and Poxes
Malaria, Smallpox, Polio, and other epidemic diseases were present in the ancient world, as explained in Plagues and Poxes, by A.J. Bollett.

Minoan Civilization
The Minoans are thought to have suffered from a major earthquake that also affected mainland Greece possibly around 1700 B.C.

An Introduction to Wall Inscriptions from Pompeii and Herculaneum
In An Introduction to Wall Inscriptions from Pompeii and Herculaneum, Rex E. Wallace shows the reader how to decode Latin wall inscriptions and provides many examples of inscriptions from Pompeii and Herculaneum that were preserved when Mt. Vesuivus erupted in A.D. 79.

Tsunami Page
"A tsunami source mechanism, resulting from the collapse of the cone of the Santorin Volcano, accounted for the catastrophic sea waves observed in the Aegean Archipelago and the Eastern Mediterranean in the Bronze Age. The tsunami and destruction resulting from the explosion and collapse of the volcano of Santorin are discussed in this study."

Discoveries at Ancient Helike
"On a winter night in 373 BC, a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami destroyed and submerged Helike, the principal Greek city on the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth." This may be the source of the myth of Atlantis.

The Waves That Destroyed the Minoan Empire (Atlantis)
George Pararas-Carayannis says the Minoans couldn't have been destroyed by people because no one around had the resources. The only option is natural disaster. "The first major destruction of the palace of Knossos by earthquakes occurred around 1720 B.C. After the palace was rebuilt and restored to its original splendor, it was again destroyed by the earthquakes of the fourteenth century B.C."

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