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by the Dead Sea Rift and Anatolian Fault systems are seismically contiguous, early cataloguers often extended the impact of earthquakes documented in nearby East Mediterranean countries to the Holy Land. Once published, such reports of supposed destructive intensities in Israel were used by Judaic scholars and archaeologists
to date poorly defined, often metaphoric, literary seismic echoes, and to justify assigning seismic origin to equivocal
signs of damage, asymmetry, or abandonment at archaeological sites of corresponding age. The spread of damage and intensity portraits are therefore enhanced and distorted, and so is their application in palaeoseismic analysis. Four test cases are presented, illustrating the use and misuse of local Judaic sources in identifying destructive intensities supposedly generated in the Holy Land by earthquakes of 92 B.C., 64 B.C. and 31 B.C., and
in postulating a regional seismic catastrophe in 749 A.D..
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