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Professor Jeffery Tepper, chairman of the Department of Geology at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, will speak at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2333 San Juan Ave. in Port Townsend.
The presentation is free, but donations of $5 are appreciated to defray expenses.
Geomythology is an emerging discipline that combines geology, archaeology, mythology and history to investigate the possibility that some myths may be garbled accounts of actual events that occurred in the distant past.
There is strong evidence that some myths originated more than 7,000 years ago and perhaps as many as 40,000 years ago, the group said.
Thus a major challenge in geomythology is to see through the changes these stories underwent as they were passed down orally over hundreds of generations.
In the talk, the origins of the Great Flood story will be examined by analyzing the biblical and Mesopotamian versions as well as possible linkages to the catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea.
Tale of Atlantis
Plato's account of the sinking of Atlantis and other stories may refer to earthquakes and tsunamis.
Included among the latter are legends from the Pacific Northwest that feature battles between the thunderbird and the whale, a motif now recognized as a tsunami metaphor, the group said.