Folk explanations of notable geological features, including fossils, are found around the world. Observations of fossil exposures (bones, footprints, etc.) led to place names for rivers, mountains, valleys, mounds, caves, springs, tracks, and other geological and palaeontological sites. Some names describe prehistoric remains and/or refer to traditional interpretations of fossils. This paper presents case studies of fossil-related place names in ancient and modern Europe and China, and Native American examples in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Evidence for the earliest known fossil-related place names comes from ancient Greco-Roman and Chinese literature. The earliest documented fossil-related place name in...
Figures & Tables
Myth and Geology
This book is the first peer-reviewed collection of papers focusing on the potential of myth storylines to yield data and lessons that are of value to the geological sciences. Building on the nascent discipline of geomythology, scientists and scholars from a variety of disciplines have contributed to this volume. The geological hazards (such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and cosmic impacts) that have given rise to myths are considered, as are the sacred and cultural values associated with rocks, fossils, geological formations and landscapes. There are also discussions about the historical and literary perspectives of geomythology. Regional coverage includes Europe and the Mediterranean, Afghanistan, Cameroon, India, Australia, Japan, Pacific islands, South America and North America. Myth and Geology challenges the widespread notion that myths are fictitious or otherwise lacking in value for the physical sciences.