Mondes perdus et géomythes

Doggerland, Sundaland, Sahul, Béringie, Sahara verdoyant, etc.

Mondes perdus

Humans as Agents in the Termination of the African Humid Period
David K. Wright
Frontiers in earth science, 2017

This paper explores scenarios whereby humans could be viewed as active agents in landscape denudation. During the period when agriculture was adopted in northern Africa, the regions where it was occurring were at the precipice of ecological regime shifts. Pastoralism, in particular, is argued to enhance devegetation and regime shifts in unbalanced ecosystems.

The catastrophic final flooding of Doggerland by the Storegga Slide tsunami
Weninger et al.
Documenta Praehistorica XXXV, 2008

Around 8200 calBP, large parts of the now submerged North Sea continental shelf (‘Doggerland’) were catastrophically flooded by the Storegga Slide tsunami, one of the largest tsunamis known for the Holocene, which was generated on the Norwegian coastal margin by a submarine landslide. In the present paper, we derive a precise calendric date for the Storegga Slide tsunami, use this date for reconstruction of contemporary coastlines in the North Sea in relation to rapidly rising sea-levels, and discuss the potential effects of the tsunami on the contemporaneous Mesolithic population. One main result of this study is an unexpectedly high tsunami impact assigned to the western regions of Jutland.


The oldest true stories in the world
Patrick D. Nunn, 2018

The Oldest True Stories in the World

In a nutshell, the unique conditions of Australia led to some of the world’s oldest stories. Some recall the time when the ocean surface was significantly lower than it is today, the shoreline was much farther out to sea, and lands now underwater were freely traversed by Australians. These stories are known from perhaps 21 places around the Australian coast, and most are interpreted as memories of the time when sea level was rising after the last great ice age—a process that ended around 7,000 years ago in Australia. Based on the evidence, these oral histories must have been passed down for more than seven millennia.

The fall of phaethon: A Greco-Roman geomyth preserves the memory of a meteorite impact in Bavaria (South-East Germany)
Rappengluek et al.
Antiquity, 2010

Arguing from a critical reading of the text, and scientific evidence on the ground, the authors show that the myth of Phaethon – the delinquent celestial charioteer – remembers the impact of a massive meteorite that hit the Chiemgau region in Bavaria between 2000 and 428 BC.

Response to ‘The fall of Phaethon: a Greco-Roman geomyth preserves the memory of a meteorite impact in Bavaria (south-east Germany)’ by Rappenglück et al.
Doppler et al.
Antiquity, 2011

The authors comment on the date of the formation of the Tüttensee, holding that it was not created by a meteorite in the first millennium BC as claimed in the Antiquity article, but formed at the end of the Ice Age and can have nothing to do with Phaethon and his chariot. In reply, Rappenglück et al . offer a brief defence of their thesis.

Reply to Doppler et al. ‘Response to “The fall of Phaethon: a Greco-Roman geomyth preserves the memory of a meteorite impact in Bavaria (south-east Germany)
Rappengluek et al.
Antiquity, 2011

Australian Aboriginal Geomythology: Eyewitness Accounts of Cosmic Impacts?
Hamacher & Norris
Cornell University, 2010

Descriptions of cosmic impacts and meteorite falls are found throughout Australian Aboriginal oral traditions. In some cases, these texts describe the impact event in detail, sometimes citing the location, suggesting that the events were witnessed. We explore whether cosmic impacts and meteorite falls may have been witnessed by Aboriginal Australians and incorporated into their oral traditions. We discuss the complications and bias in recording and analysing oral texts but suggest that these texts may be used both to locate new impact structures or meteorites and model observed impact events. We find that, while detailed Aboriginal descriptions of cosmic impacts are abundant in the literature, there is currently no physical evidence connecting these accounts to impact events currently known to Western science.

Geomythology: geological origins of myths and legends
Dorothy B. Vitaliano
Geological society publications, 2007

Myths and geology are related in several ways. Some myths are the result of man’s attempts to explain noteworthy features of his environment, such as striking landforms or unusual smaller features, whereas others try to account for conspicuous natural processes, such as earthquakes, volcanic phenomena, and floods. Local myths have sometimes proved helpful in solving geological problems, and even the geological nomenclature is indebted to mythology. Examples of each kind of relationship are given.

Geomythology: The Impact of Geologic Events on History and Legend with Special Reference to Atlantis
Dorothy B. Vitaliano
Journal of the folklore institute, 1968




Doggerland Francis Lima wikimedi commons
Doggerland, By Francis Lima – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Sundaland 3 wikimedia