EARTHQUAKES IN THE TERRITORY OF GEORGIA ACCORDING TO HISTORICAL SOURCES: 1089 EARTHQUAKE
Catastrophic natural disasters have always played a key role in shaping human history. Territory covering Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and the eastern part of Turkey is within the zone of high seismic activity. Analysis of the historical and instrumental seismological data shows, that strong earthquakes with magnitude up to 7.0-7.5 have occurred here.
Georgian, Armenian, as well as Oriental and European written sources, also sites of material cultural heritage, over a long chronological period, have preserved evidence of the earthquakes and other natural phenomena occurring in the region and the adjacent seismic zones. In various written sources we come across the interesting observations on the sites of the strong earthquakes, as well as frequency and attending anomalous natural phenomena. As a rule, the historical sources give indications of the destructive consequences which often caused ecological catastrophes in the region, as well as political and economic depression, change in the demographic picture, and mass migration.
In the current paper show the results of the study of an earthquake which occurred in Georgia on Easter Sunday, just shortly before the beginning of the reign Davit IV Bulder (1089-1125). The Post earthquake “terrible” aftershocks were felt over a year. According to the historian of Davit: „Thus on Easter Day, the very of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a day which should have been one of rejoicing and peace, The Lord looked down in anger and caused the earth to tremble to its foundations, with such violence that lofty mountains and solid rocks were ground into semblance of dust, towns and villages were destroyed, churches tumbled to the ground and houses, engulfed and shattered, turned into tombs for those who dwelt in them. N the course of these events T'mogvi collapsed in ruins, with Niania's son Kaxaber and his wife. And there were terrible earthquakes like this one until the end of the year, in which numberless people perished.“ The epicenter of the earthquake apparently was on Javaxeti plateau, in the Artani Mtkvari Valley. Historical sources give us the possibility to assume that it was a strong earthquake which covered the entire South and East Georgia from Javakheti Plateau to Iori Plateau including Davit Gareji desert, namely: rock-cut monasteries of the western massif, located along the Karaia-Rustavi direction and Alaverdi St. George Cathedral (first half of the 11th century) located in the Alazani-River valley in Kakheti. Seismic research of the 1089 April 1earthquake suggests that it was one of the large and destructive earthquakes in the Georgia with magnitude up to 7.0-7,5 and microseismic intensity 9 (MSK scale).
Keywords: Historical Earthquakes, South Caucasus, History.