Advertisement

Seeps in the Ancient World: Myths, Religions, and Social Development

  • Giuseppe EtiopeEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The final chapter completes the discussion on natural hydrocarbon seepage by reporting engaging information regarding the significance and importance of seeps in the ancient world. Gas and oil seeps have, in fact, had a special role in ancient cultures, driving mythological legends, religious traditions, and contributing to human civilisation. As it is mainly the domain of historians and archaeologists, these concepts are poorly understood in the geological academic community. In addition to an interest in archaeological and anthropological studies, historical reports of gas-oil manifestations are formidable evidence of the extreme longevity and persistence of seepage over time.

Keywords

Eternal fires Myths Zoroastrianism Greek fire Delphi Chimaera Jean Baptist van Helmont Alessandro Volta 

References

  1. Bersani P, Nisio S, Pizzino L (2013) Mineral waters, gaseous emissions and seismicity in the area between Rome and its Southern seashore: historical data and new contributions. Mem Descr Carta Geol It XCIII:409–438 (in Italian)Google Scholar
  2. Boschetti T, Etiope G, Toscani L (2013) Abiotic methane in hyperalkaline springs of Genova, Italy. Procedia Earth Planet Sci 7:248–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Connan J (1999) Use and trade of bitumen in antiquity and prehistory: molecular archaeology reveals secrets of past civilizations. Philos Trans R Soc London 354:33–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. De Boer JZ, Hale JR, Chanton J (2001) New evidence for the geological origins of the ancient Delphic oracle (Greece). Geology 29:707–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Etiope G, Papatheodorou G, Christodoulou D, Geraga M, Favali P (2006) The geological links of the ancient Delphic Oracle (Greece): a reappraisal of natural gas occurrence and origin. Geology 34:821–824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Etiope G, Schoell M, Hosgormez H (2011) Abiotic methane flux from the Chimaera seep and Tekirova ophiolites (Turkey): understanding gas exhalation from low temperature serpentinization and implications for Mars. Earth Planet Sci Lett 310:96–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Etiope G, Vance S, Christensen LE, Marques JM, Ribeiro da Costa I (2013) Methane in serpentinized ultramafic rocks in mainland Portugal. Mar Pet Geol 45:12–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Forbes RJ (1938) Petroleum and bitumen in antiquity. Ambix 2:68–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Holland LB (1933) The mantic mechanism at Delphi. Am J Archaeol 37:201–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Homer (2004) The Iliad (trans: Fitzgerald R). Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, p 632Google Scholar
  11. Hosgormez H, Etiope G, Yalçın MN (2008) New evidence for a mixed inorganic and organic origin of the Olympic Chimaera fire (Turkey): a large onshore seepage of abiogenic gas. Geofluids 8:263–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kikvadze O, Lavrushin V, Pokrovskii B, Polyak B (2010) Gases from mud volcanoes of western and central Caucasus. Geofluids 10:486–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Meyer-Dombard DR, Woycheese KM, Yargicoglu EN, Cardace D, Shock EL, Güleçal-Pektas Y, Temel M (2014) High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimaera), Turkey. Front Microbiol 5:723 doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00723
  14. Mithen SJ (2003) After the ice: a global human history, 20,000–5,000 bc. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, p 622Google Scholar
  15. Moravcsik G (ed) (1967) Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio, vol 1. Greek text (Eng. Trans: Jenkins RJH). Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, Washington D.CGoogle Scholar
  16. Owen EW (1975) The earliest oil industry: Chapter 1. In: Trek of the oil finders: a history of exploration for petroleum. AAPG, Tulsa, pp xv, 1647Google Scholar
  17. Partington JR (1999) A history of Greek Fire and gunpowder. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp xxxiv + 381Google Scholar
  18. Piccardi L (2000) Active faulting at Delphi, Greece: seismotectonic remarks and a hypothesis for the geological environment of a myth. Geology 28:651–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Piccardi L, Masse WB (eds) (2007) Myth and Geology. Geological Society, London, Special Pub, 273Google Scholar
  20. Platner SB, Ashby T (1929) A topographical dictionary of ancient Rome. Humphrey Milford. Oxford University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Rendina C, Paradisi D (2004) Le strade di Roma. Newton & Compton Editori, Roma (in Italian)Google Scholar
  22. Sorkhabi R (2005) Pre-modern history of bitumen, oil and gas in Persia (Iran). Oil-Ind Hist 6:153–177Google Scholar
  23. Spratt TAB, Forbes E (1847) Travels in Lycia, Milyas and the Cibyratis, in company with the Late Rev. E.T. Daniell. London (Van Voorst J) p 332Google Scholar
  24. Temple R (2007) The genius of China: 3,000 years of science. Discovery & Invention, Inner Traditions, p 288Google Scholar
  25. Tomory L (2010) William Brownrigg’s papers on fire-damps. Notes Rec R Soc 64:261–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vitaliano D (1973) Legends of the Earth: their geological origins. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  27. Yargicoglu EN (2012) Experimental verifications of metabolic potential in deeply-sourced springs in western Turkey. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago, http://hdl.handle.net/10027/9716
  28. Yergin D (1991) The prize: the epic quest for oil, money, and power. Simon & Schuster, New York, p 912Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sezione Roma 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental Science and EngineeringBabes-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania

Personalised recommendations