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article imageAncient Documents Forecast Major Earthquake In Middle East

By geozone     Oct 4, 2007 in Environment
Using ancient clues culled from religious records, an Israeli geologist claims the Middle East is long overdue for a devastating earthquake. Such a quake could destroy holy sites and even impact on world peace.
Shmulik Marco of Tel Aviv University is a firm believer the past is a key to the future. Since
science is about pattern detection, he turned to religious documents recorded over a 2,000 year period to search for earthquake patterns on several fault lines throughout Israel and its neighboring countries.
Hundreds of documents written by monks, clergies and desert hermits in Greek, Arabic and Latin were used. Marco required a team of historians to translate the documents and believes the originals of some of them can be found in the vaults of the Vatican.
For example, the writings of a 9th century Byzantine monk named Theophanes, frequently chronicled earthquake activity. In one manuscript he recorded that:
A great earthquake in Palestine, by the Jordan and in all of Syria on 18 January in the 4th hour. Numberless multitudes perished, churches and monasteries collapsed especially in the desert of the Holy City.
Biblical passages from Jewish sources also supplied clues such as a passage from Zechariah 14:4.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Collectively, these ancient records revealed devastating earthquakes struck the Holy Land at approximately 400 year intervals. In particular, the Jordan Valley suffered major quakes in 31 BCE (Before Common Era), 363 CE (Common Era), 749 CE and 1033 CE. According to Marco,
If we follow the patterns of nature, a major quake should be expected any time because almost a whole millennium has passed since the last strong earthquake of 1033 . . . Earthquakes are a manifestation of deeper processes inside the earth . . . I can say that based on ancient records, the pattern in Israel around the Dead Sea region is the most disturbing to us.
Marco is adamant that when—not if—the big quake hits, it will impact Jordan, Amman, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah. After all, "Earthquakes don’t care about religion or political boundaries” and he believes everybody in those regions should be concerned.
(Photo above depicts the damage to Jerusalem's Old City from the 1927 earthquake which hit 6.2 on the Richter Scale. The northern section of the Dead Sea was the earthquake epicenter.)
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