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  • Originally published 04/25/2013

    Earthquakes may have destroyed Mycenae

    The grand Mycenaens, the first Greeks, inspired the legends of the Trojan Wars, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey." Their culture abruptly declined around 1200 B.C., marking the start of a Dark Ages in Greece.The disappearance of the Mycenaens is a Mediterranean mystery. Leading explanations include warfare with invaders or uprising by lower classes. Some scientists also think one of the country's frequent earthquakes could have contributed to the culture's collapse. At the ruins of Tiryns, a fortified palace, geologists hope to find evidence to confirm whether an earthquake was a likely culprit.Tiryns was one of the great Mycenaean cities. Atop a limestone hill, the city-state's king built a palace with walls so thick they were called Cyclopean, because only the one-eyed monster could have carried the massive limestone blocks. The walls were about 30 feet (10 meters) high and 26 feet (8 m) wide, with blocks weighing 13 tons, said Klaus-G. Hinzen, a seismologist at the University of Cologne in Germany and project leader. He presented his team's preliminary results April 19 at the Seismological Society of America's annual meeting in Salt Lake City.... 

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    Pre-quake Christchurch being forgotten, says historian

    Memories of Christchurch before earthquakes destroyed much of the central city are being forgotten, a local historian says.University of Canterbury Professor Katie Pickles said memories of the pre-quake Christchurch were fast fading as more of the city's iconic buildings and landmarks were demolished."Many Christchurch landmarks have been demolished to make way for new buildings in what is becoming an exciting city," she said."But we have never been a demolition city before, with hard hats, high-viz, cranes, and wrecking balls. This is what Cantabrians see and hear on a daily basis. Memories of the past pre-quake city are fading.'"...

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