Impact of Tectonic Activity on Ancient Civilizations: Recurrent Shakeups, Tenacity, Resilience, and Change observes a remarkable spatial correspondence of zones of active tectonism (i.e. plate boundaries in the earth's crust) with the most complex cultures of antiquity ("great ancient civilizations"), and continues to explore the meaning of this relationship from a number of independent angles. Due to resulting site damage, this distribution is counter-intuitive. Nevertheless, systematic differences between "tectonic" and "quiescent" cultures show that tectonic activity corresponded in antiquity with more cultural dynamism. Data of several independent types support direct cultural influence of tectonism, including vignettes of the impact of tectonism in specific ancient cultures. An expectation of change seems to be a feature such tectonic cultures shared, and led to an acceleration of development. These dynamics continue though much obscured in the present day.
List of Figures, Images, and Tables
Chapter 1 Introduction
Part I: "The Great Ancient Civilizations"
Chapter 2 Tectonic Footprints in the Ancient Hellenic World
Chapter 3 A Volcanic Connection in Iron-Age Italy: The Etruscans and Romans
Chapter 4 Ancient Tectonism in SW Asia, Impact on Judeo-Christian Traditions, and General Considerations on Religious Influences
Chapter 5 Filling in the Picture: Remaining GAC's and a Qualitative Overview
Part II: Analysis and Separate Lines of Inquiry
Chapter 6 Quantification of the Spatial Relation via Probability Analysis
Chapter 7 Transects: Comparing Complexities of Ancient Cultures at a Continental Scale
Chapter 8 A Tendency toward Stasis in Tectonically Quiescent Ancient Civilizations
Chapter 9 Tectonic Context of Pre-Columbian Civilizations of the Western Hemisphere-an Independent "Experiment"
Chapter 10 Revelations from Some GAC Subsets
Chapter 11 Tectonics and Trade Route Propagation in Antiquity
Part III: Variations with Time
Chapter 12 Tectonic Environments of Complex Cultures just before and after the Period of Classical Antiquity
Chapter 13 Cultural Roles of Tectonism in the Modern World
Part IV: Possible Forms of a Solution
Chapter 14 Direct Influences of Active Tectonics on Cultural Development in Antiquity: A Summary of Five Lines of Evidence
Chapter 15 Possible Indirect Links between Ancient Civilizations and Active Tectonism
Chapter 16 An Adjunct Direct Factor: Unusual Springs along Active Faults
Chapter 17 Tectonics and Ancient Civilizations: Summary and Surmises Postscript: Some Implications from the Bare Facts
About the Author
Eric R. Force is adjunct professor at the University of Arizona and a practicing geologist with field research spanning fifteen countries.
Force posits that they [quakes] may have rocked the cradles of past civilizations [...] [The author] pursues [his thesis] tenaciously and with considerable skill [...] Force's speculation remains an intriguing possibility."
"Eric Force presents an impressive portrayal [...] A book that should be in every library that focuses on the archaeological and geological sciences [...] The thoughts are interesting, and, at the end, one wants to hear more from the author."
– Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies
"If you want to challenge your views of the ancient world and understand how brilliant and resilient our ancestors were then read this book. Too often we slip into the lazy assumption that tectonic pressures result in long term disasters, this book turns that view on its head; our ancestors responded to these pressures and turned them to their long term advantage. We need to relearn these lessons today."
– John Grattan, Aberystwyth University
"Deftly analyzing geological, archeological, and anthropological data, Eric Force presents an insightful, but somewhat provocative thesis: Ancient civilizations in tectonically active settings – despite suffering short-term setbacks from earthquake, volcanic, or other natural disasters – in the long term have flourished and influenced societal development, whereas most civilizations in tectonically quiescent regions have not. This book is a "must read" for anyone curious about why this should be the case."
– Robert I. Tilling, Volcano Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey