A new catalogue of earthquakes in the historical Armenian area from antiquity to the 12th century

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E. Guidoboni
G. Traina


The present contribution describes the method of work, the types of source materia] used, and the historio- graphical and historico-eismic tradition of Armenia. The catalogue' s territorial frame of reference is that of socalled historical Armenia (which included part of present Eastern Turkey, and part of present Azerbaijan). The sources belong to different languages and cultures: Armenian, Syriac, Greek, Arab, Persian and Georgian. A comparison of the local sources with those belonging to other cultures enab]es the historical and seismological I"adition of the Mediterl'anean to be "linked" with that of the Iranian p]ateau, traditionally considered as two separate areas. We analyzed historical events listed in the most recent catalogues of earthquakes in the Armenian area compiled by Kondorskaya and Shebalin (1982) and Karapetian (1991). Important and valuable though these catalogues are, they are in need of revision. We found evidence for six hitherto unrecorded seismic events. Numerous errors of dating and location have been corrected, and several new localities and seismic effects have been evidenced. Each modification of the previous catalogues has been documented on the hasis of the historiographical and literary sources and the data from the written sources have been linked with those concerning the history of Armenian cities and architecture (monasteries, churches, episcopal complexes). On the whole. the revised earthquakes seem underestimated in the previous catalogues. The aim of this catalogue is to make a contribution to the knowledge of historical seismicity in Armenia, and at the same time to underline the specific nature of the Armenian case, thus avoiding a procedure which has generally tended to place this area in a marginal position, within the wider field of other research on historical earthquakes.

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How to Cite
Guidoboni, E. and Traina, G. (1995) “A new catalogue of earthquakes in the historical Armenian area from antiquity to the 12th century”, Annals of Geophysics, 38(1). doi: 10.4401/ag-4134.

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