Geomythology: Earth Sciences and Oral Culture Case Study of the North West of Iran
Geology and geomorphology have influenced society, civilization, and the cultural diversity of our planet. The influences in each community will be different based on the level of development. In the past, men had close relationships with their natural environment and in trying to identify and understand landscapes and processes. They have used myths, legends and stories. In fact, using names like Devil, Dragon and Chimney for, valleys, mountain and caves have seen in different parts of the planet and in different cultures. Moreover, men attempted to explain processes and forms based on their understanding of nature. In fact, the names used for non-living elements and processes, are in framework of geocultural contexts (cultural geology). Part of the folklore about geological phenomena and landforms, are related to religious beliefs and metaphysics. Some of these names use relative static structure (mountains), dynamic processes (travertine spring) and fossils. Sometimes this myths and stories give very valuable information about old earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, etc. and provide important data for for understanding the geological history, geomorphologic evolution trends and climate change. In this study,the geomythological values of three limestone springs in North West Iran (Takab, Zanjan and Qorveh cites) have been studied. Use of dragon name for Rocky Mountains revealed that in the past, in these areas have warm and cold springs existed some of which were probably Artesian. Such sites, especially in rural areas have important role in geotourist attraction.
Geographic Space, Volume:11 Issue:36, 2012
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