California Academy of Sciences: Plate Tectonics and Ancient Civilizations

Plate tectonics played an important role in providing opportunities for life to flourish.

Earthquakes have affected some of our oldest human ancestors, from early hominids along the East African Rift to civilizations on the island of Cyprus. It’s possible that tectonic plate activity brought down entire civilizations, leaving behind only archeological remains. Only in the last century have humans developed precise instruments to monitor seismic events. Any information on ancient quakes has been pieced together from historical records. These destructive events may have provided opportunities for life to flourish.

This post is part of Exploring Earthquakesa rich collection of resources co-presented by the California Academy of Sciences and KQED. This material is also available as a free iBooks textbook and iTunes U course.


Science Topics
Anthropology, Archaeology, Geology, Seismology
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