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Cultural Geology?

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2008 03:54 pm
My mother swears an acquaintance of hers was talking about cultural geology. I know cultural geography is how the landscape a people live in affects the development of its culture. If the land is fertile there is agriculture, if there is a substantial river it'll be used as a trade-route, if there is flooding houses are built on stilts - that sort of thing.

But, what would the geology affect?

So, the cavemen who lived closer to flint developed fire before those who didn't live nearby? Artesian wells up through granite and a spring is available to exploit for sales of bottled water and a town develops? Diamonds are found in a piece of ground and leads to slavery and violence.....?

What else?
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2008 05:06 pm
Hi k. Go Wiki both phrases. You'll see that cultural geology seems to cover the things you talk about as geography, while geography "focuses on describing and analyzing the ways language, religion, economy, government, and other cultural phenomena vary or remain constant from one place to another ...".

So c. geology is about the actual effect that the earth and its formations, minerals, rivers, etc. have on humankind, and c. geography is about how cultures vary or remain constant from place to place...

Clear as mud, eh?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 05:53 am
Re: Cultural Geology?
littlek wrote:
So, the cavemen who lived closer to flint developed fire before those who didn't live nearby? Artesian wells up through granite and a spring is available to exploit for sales of bottled water and a town develops? Diamonds are found in a piece of ground and leads to slavery and violence.....?

What else?

Countries rich in oil and other natural resources tend to have more unequal societies, because the wealth and power tends to be concentrated in the hands of the few who own the ground in which the mineral resources lie buried.

Countries poor in natural resources must rely on work, skill, and thrift for their living, so their societies tend to encourage these.

To be honest, I haven't researched the evidence for either of these claims. But they seem to me like straightforward influences of geology on culture.

PS: Cultural geology does look like an exotic discipline to say the least. I just Googled the term. By their ranking of the most popular hits for "cultural geology", number five is ... your thread about it right here.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 08:03 am
Yet another thought: Geological formations, and the kinds of stones they offer to a culture, can have a very direct influence on its architecture. Like here in Mesa Verde for example:
    [img]http://www.desertusa.com/mag05/apr/images/mesa-verde-8.jpg[/img]
The Anasazi would have built radically different houses if their culture had developed in the Appalachians. It may well be an interesting task to explore these influences systematically.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 12:56 pm
I loved Mesa Verde. But the drive up was a nightmare (cultural geoGRAPHY).
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 01:31 pm
I was four when I last saw Mesa Verde. Although I remember the place itself, I don't remember the drive to it. What's wrong with its cultural geography?
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 02:08 pm
serpentines....


we learned all that stuff in political geography Laughing

oh well...
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 03:01 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
serpentines....

Ah! That makes sense.


Dagmaraka wrote:
we learned all that stuff in political geography Laughing

oh well...

Did you hear this class before or after the fall of the Iron Curtain?
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 04:01 pm
The road up was 15 miles per hour with warnings to slow down at certain corners - on the side of a mesa. Mesas are table-tops with steep slopes. This was a high mesa. The road had fallen off the side in a couple places.


http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/2005/mesaverde/3d/mv005.jpg

The geography made for a very secure settlement for the anasazi (or who ever settled there)
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 04:32 pm
Wow! That's an impressive shot, independent of the mesa's geology and geography. I hope you took it from a safe place. By your description, this settlement was much safer for the Anasazi than for their relatives who came for tea.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 04:56 pm
Thomas wrote:
dagmaraka wrote:
serpentines....

Ah! That makes sense.


Dagmaraka wrote:
we learned all that stuff in political geography Laughing

oh well...

Did you hear this class before or after the fall of the Iron Curtain?


After. In 1995, to be exact. Focus was on the political (e.g. exploring questions like why was morocco not colonized early on...etc.), but included the cultural stuff, like what kinds of settlements made sense where and what kinds of civilizations developed in certain types of areas (water, mountains, ...)... But "political" usually means anything, like political science.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 05:01 pm
I had a tough enough time at one tabletop/mesa with my footing. Mesas and space haven't changed, at least by much, but I have. At this point I'll take the plane.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 08:40 pm
Thomas - I didn't take the photo! I was just concentrating on the drive. There were very few spots to pull off and take shots. While I was searching for a photo of the road, I decided to google-earth Mesa Verde. That was fun.

But, nothing gives you a good feel for the drive unless you're driving it.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 08:45 pm
littlek wrote:
But, nothing gives you a good feel for the drive unless you're driving it.

That sounds almost like a threat! And the landscape doesn't look as if hiking up would be a fun alternative.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2008 08:02 pm
I seriously thought about hiking it. Now, years later and safely at 20 above sea level, I don't really get what all THAT fuss was about. I know It'd hit me like a ton of bricks were I try to drive t again. Doesn't mean I'll never do it again, though.
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WWallace Mud
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Feb, 2014 09:42 am
@Wy,
True. But doesn't geology drive geography which in turn drives cultural adaptation?
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