Newly unearthed artifacts shed light on earthquake of Hippos

Knowledge of earthquake of Hippos enriched by recent excavation


© Michael Eisenberg

A team of archaeologists from the University of Haifa have discovered artifacts that bring considerable new knowledge to the first of the two earthquakes of Hippos. An ancient Greco-Roman city-state located near modern-day Kibbutz Ein Gev, Israel, Hippos underwent two major earthquakes — first in 363 AD and then in 749 AD — the second of which destroyed the settlement permanently. According to archaeologists, the excavated items are the most significant finds to date regarding the first earthquake. The artifacts include a woman’s skeleton, a gold dove-shaped pendant (left), a marble leg originally attached to a statue and lastly a massive catapult measuring up to 8 meters stationed in a fortified space. From such objects, researchers are now able to draw a clearer historical timeline, and infer that the Roman baths destroyed by the first earthquake were never rebuilt.

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