Unlike the North Anatolian fault zone, which has produced 11 large earthquakes since 1939, the East Anatolian fault zone (EAFZ) has been relatively quiescent in the last century when compared to historical records and has therefore accumulated significant stresses along its length. Determination of the location and likely magnitude of a future probable earthquake along the EAFZ is of interest both because of this history of large earthquakes, (M approximate to 8), and the density of population in the area. Here we calculate stress evolution along the fault zone due to both seismic and tectonic loading since 1822. A sequence of 10 well constrained historical earthquakes is selected and the resulting stresses are calculated, summed with tectonic loading stresses and resolved onto the mapped active faults. We identify two areas of particular seismic risk, one of which might be expected to yield a large event. Our results are sensitive to the previous history of large earthquakes in the region and indicate a need for detailed investigations to constrain the exact rupture geometries of previous earthquakes on these segments. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.