Skip to comments.Warning signs from ancient Greek tsunami
Posted on 05/14/2012 3:27:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
In the winter of 479 B.C., a tsunami was the savior of Potidaea, drowning hundreds of Persian invaders as they lay siege to the ancient Greek village. New geological evidence suggests that the region may still be vulnerable to tsunami events, according to Klaus Reicherter of Aachen University in Germany and his colleagues.
The Greek historian Herodotus described the strange retreat of the tide and massive waves at Potidaea, making his account the first description of a historical tsunami. Reicherter and colleagues have added to the story by sampling sediments on the Possidi peninsula in northern Greece where Potidaea (and its modern counterpart, Nea Potidea) is located. The sediment cores show signs of "high-energy" marine events like significant waves, and excavations in the suburbs of the nearby ancient city of Mende have uncovered a high-energy level dated to the 5th century B.C. The Mende layer contains much older marine seashells that were probably scoured from the ocean bed and deposited during a tsunami.
Earthquake forecast modeling in the North Aegean Basin near the peninsula suggests that future earthquakes in the area could produce significant tsunami waves, although the area is not included currently in the ten "tsunami" prone regions of Greece. However, Reicherter and colleagues say their new findings suggest the Thermaikos Gulf where the peninsula is located should be included in tsunami hazard calculations, especially since the area is densely populated and home to many holiday resorts.
Reicherter will present his findings at the Annual Meeting of the Seismological Society of America (SSA) on April 19 in San Diego.
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
This figure shows the study area in Greece (Thermaikos Gulf). Red stars indicate drilling sites, where researchers have found high-energy layers, which are interpreted a of a tsunami origin. Credit: Klaus Reicherter, RWTH Aachen University
This figure shows the excavation area at Mende; the yellow box shows location of section. Credit: Klaus Reicherter, RWTH Aachen University
The image shows excavated deposits. Credit: Klaus Reicherter, RWTH Aachen University
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
Ampotis would be anapotis in Attic Greek--it means "ebb tide" or "being sucked back" from the verb anapino ("to drink up," "to suck up like a sponge").
Sort of like Obama's green industries sucking up stimulus dollars.
Thanks VR. It’s no accident that Poseidon Earthshaker (as Homer put it) was the Greek god of earthquakes as well as the seas. If memory serves, Thucydides relates a specific quake to a specific tsunami, one that destroyed an Athenian fort and its garrison.
After Artabazus had continued the siege by the space of three months, it happened that there was an unusual ebb of the tide, which lasted a long while. So when the barbarians saw that what had been sea was now no more than a swamp, they determined to push across it into Pallene, And now the troops had already made good two-fifths of their passage, and three-fifths still remained before they could reach Palline, when the tide came in with a very high flood, higher than had ever been seen before, as the inhabitants of those parts declare, though high floods are by no means uncommon. All who were not able to swim perished immediately; the rest were slain by the Potidaeans, who bore down upon them in their sailing vessels. The Potidaeans say that what caused this swell and flood, and so brought about the disaster of the Persians which ensued therefrom, was the profanation, by the very men now destroyed in the sea, of the temple and image of Neptune, situated in their suburb. And in this they seem to me to say well. Artabazus afterwards led away the remainder of his army, and joined Mardonius in Thessaly. Thus fared it with the Persians who escorted the king to the strait. -- Herodotus
That image is from this post by ‘Tyler Durden’ at ZeroHedge. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/must-see-greece-explained-one-picture
There’s a 45 minute video in German, too. I am watching it, and it’s fairly self-explanatory, and my German is verryyy rusty.
“It is change or die. It really is.” (Last line, spoken in English by a tycoon)
Afterwards the city was a member of the Athenian Empire but maintained ties with Corinth. It revolted from Athens in 432 and was eventually reduced by siege--that is one of the incidents which Thucydides singles out as complaints which led to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War in 431 (Corinth being one of the cities which pushed Sparta into going to war).
Never a good idea before a swim or crossing a marsh.
On the plus side, it gives us something different to worry about than the usual....
That's amazing to think about, Civ. Imagine being on either side of that war, when the tsunami came in.
They didn’t have to do much to finish the Persians, but it still counts as a victory. :’)
That’s true. Can you imagine? At the time, both sides must have wondered about God/the gods intentions after it happened.
(LOL, we think our politics are dangerous...)
Thanks for all the good posts you make here Civ. I’ve learned so much about history from you.
Thanks fanfan for the kind remarks!
Too often, people don’t make a point of saying anything when someone makes a positive difference in their lives.
I’m glad that you are here, adding to my knowledge, and my life.
So now, don’t blush, just go have some chocolate or something. ;-)
Chocolate, now we’re talkin’!
How i love Herodotus! He was reviled as a fabulist, when he was anything but. He reported what people told him; he reported what he knew; he traveled the known world to investigate leads.
And more and more of his “fables” have turned out to be facts.
It’s amusing and bemusing to see Herodotus confirmed by a new discovery here or there, when the article about it is written by someone who claims it disconfirms him “once again”.