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Further Reading "Godzilla's Attacking Babylon"
September 22, 1999

B. Hayden has a general discussion of catastrophism in Archaeology. The Science of Once and Future Things (1993), but for its more bizarre aspects see S. William's Fantastic Archaeology. The Wild Side of North American Prehistory (1991). For basic definitions, see "catastrophism" in R. Bates and J. Jackson, eds., Dictionary of Geological Terms (1984) and "catastrophe theory" in S. Champion, Dictionary of Terms and Techniques in Archaeology (1980).

Immanuel Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision (1950) is out of print but cheap paperback copies are available at used book stores. More recent catastrophic works include Natural Catastrophes During Bronze Age Civilisations. Archaeological, geological, astronomical and cultural perspectives. B. Peiser, T. Palmer, and M. Bailey, eds. (BAR IS 728) (1998); B. Fagan, Floods, Famines, and Emperors. El Niño and the Fate of Civilizations (1999); W. Ryan and W. Pittman, Noah's Flood (1999); and M. Bailie, From Exodus to Arthur (1998). Of particular note in the Natural Catastrophes During Bronze Age Civilisations book are papers by A. Nur, "The End of the Bronze Age by large Earthquakes," pp. 140-147, and Marie-Agnès Courty, "The Soil Record of an Exceptional Event at 4000 B.P.," pp. 93-108.

On Godzilla, see J. Stanley, Creature Features (NY 1997); T. Weisser and Y. Mihara Weisser, Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia (Miami 1997); and Video Hound's Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics (Detroit 1996).

For miraculous events and their interpretation in ancient China, see In Search of the Supernatural: The Written Record, trans. by K. DeWoskin and J. Crump, Jr. (1996).

Ancient Mesoamerican and Mexican volcanic disasters are treated in P. Sheets, "Tropical Time Capsule," ARCHAEOLOGY, July/August 1994, pp. 30-33, and P. Plunket and G. Uruñeula, "Appeasing the Volcano Gods," ARCHAEOLOGY, July/August 1998, pp. 36-42. For Mount St. Helens see R. Tilling, L. Topinka, and D. Swanson, Eruptions of Mount St. Helens: Past, Present, and Future by (USGS Special Interest Publication, 1990).

On the Torino scale for assessing the danger from interplanetary debris, see T. Reichhardt, "Scaling the degree of danger from an asteroid," Nature 400, 29 July 1999, p. 392, and G. Schilling, "And Now, the Asteroid Forecast...," Science 285, 30 July 1999, p. 655. Current research on the Tunguska fireball focuses on whether it was cometary.

Additional information used in this article came from S. Bilek and T. Lay, "Rigidity Variations with Depth Along Interplate Megathrust Faults in Subduction Zones," Nature 400, 29 July 1999, pp. 443-446; R. Drews, The End of the Bronze Age (1993); and The New York Public Library Science Desk Reference (1995).

For more information about hurricanes, see the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, which has links to a long hurricane, typhoon, and tropical cyclone FAQ (including the answer to the question "why not nuke 'em?") and to the National Hurricane Center. A USGS website has details on Hurricane Mitch.

On the 1998 tsunami that struck Papua-New Guinea, see a brief summary on ARCHAEOLOGY's website and a more detailed acccount on a USGS website.

The USGS has general information about volcanoes and links to regional topics such as Hawaiian volcanoes and the Cascades, including a detailed analysis of the eruption of Mount St. Helens (Tilling, Topinka, and Swanson 1990).

The USGS has websites with general information about earthquakes and and earthquake FAQ, as well as information about the Izmit, Turkey, earthquake.

© 1999 by the Archaeological Institute of America