Abstract We report several cases of surface faulting on archaeological relics along the Dead Sea Valley, in Crete, and in central and northern Italy. With the exception of the Fucino normal faults (central Italy), all the faulting is related to strike-slip or oblique motions. We describe only those sites for which paleoseismological or specific geological analyses had confirmed the existence of an active fault, thus omitting any ambiguous interpretation of effects attributable to other natural or anthropic phenomena. All the cases reviewed allowed us to assume the age of the faulting event and the amount of slip, thus characterising unknown or poorly known destructive earthquakes. The use of archaeoseismological analyses, and particularly of the faulting of archaeological relics, always improves our knowledge of the seismicity and seismotectonics of regions for which the information about the historical seismicity and/or the geological evidence are scarce or uncertain.