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Roman, Visigothic and Islamic evidence of earthquakes recorded in the archaeological site of “El Tolmo de Minateda” (Prebetic Zone, southeast of Spain)

July 25, 2013

The archaeological site of “El Tolmo de Minateda” is located within the Albacete province (SE of Spain) and
shows a continuous time record of ancient civilizations from 3500 yr BP onwards. However, three temporal
gaps were identified in this archaeological record, all of them in relationship with a sudden and unclear
abandonment of the city (Centuries 1st, 7th and 9-10th). The Archaeological Earthquake Effects (EAEs) supports
the possibility that moderate to strong earthquakes were the cause of such abandonments: oriented columns
fallen, collapsed walls and arches, abandonment of irrigation systems and fresh-water supplies, crashed
pottery, etc. Despite of the scarce of instrumental seismicity and a few historical chronicles, paleoseismic
studies performed in the neighbouring zone (Tobarra) suggest the presence of closer seismic sources as faults
(Pozohondo Fault) affecting Quaternary alluvial, lacustrine deposits and colluviums. In this work, we propose
the possibility that three moderate earthquakes devastated the ancient Roman city of Ilunum (Century 1st AD),
the Visigothic city of Elo (Century 7th AD) and the Islamic city of Madinat Iyih (Century 9th-10thAD), all of them
the same place: “El Tolmo de Minateda”.

Publication Year 2013
Title Roman, Visigothic and Islamic evidence of earthquakes recorded in the archaeological site of “El Tolmo de Minateda” (Prebetic Zone, southeast of Spain)
Authors M.A. Rodríguez-Pascua, L. Abad Casal, R. Pérez-López, B. Gamo Parra, P.G. Silva, V.H. Garduño-Monroy, J. L. Giner-Robles, M.A. Perucha, I. Israde-Alcántara, J. Bischoff, J. P. Calvo
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Cuaternario y Geomorfologia
Index ID 70118122
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse