Earthquakes have affected some of our oldest human ancestors, from early hominids along the East African Rift to civilizations on the island of Cyprus. It’s possible that tectonic plate activity brought down entire civilizations, leaving behind only archeological remains. Only in the last century have humans developed precise instruments to monitor seismic events. Any information on ancient quakes has been pieced together from historical records. These destructive events may have provided opportunities for life to flourish.

This post is part of Exploring Earthquakesa rich collection of resources co-presented by the California Academy of Sciences and KQED. This material is also available as a free iBooks textbook and iTunes U course

Don’t miss Earthquake, an interactive exhibit at the Academy exploring the seismic forces that impact us today and featuring the Shake House, an earthquake simulator.

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Exploring Earthquakes RR

Exploring Earthquakes

Get a new perspective on earthquakes with this rich collection of multimedia resources. You'll learn why earthquakes happen, how they've shaped the Bay Area, and what you can do to prepare for the next one.