Various cultures the world over have produced their own images of the environment, and humanitarian geography - a comparatively new sphere of science-is engaged in such studies. Experts argue that by conceptualizing geographical images one may rise to a higher level of regional self-identification and thus uncover the structure and dynamics of cultural-and-geographic interactions.
SOURCE OF LIFE
Water was regarded as the source of life in ancient mythology: for instance, Babylonians identified Mother Thiamat with the deep, and old man Nun personified water for ancient Egyptians. And the ever-changing river stood for one of the images of its perpetual revival and movement, for you cannot wade into the same river twice. Journal Chelovek (Man) has carried an article on river images by Dmitry Zamyatin, a geographer and culturologist. He describes these images as "an area of spatial possibilities realized ... by most numerous and continuous ... forms of terrestrial relief and ... landscapes". In ancient times people's life was closely bound up with rivers (it is not by chance that river gods play a notable role in key myths). They supplied water for drinking and land irrigation, water served as a source of food and as a driving force for mechanisms; waterways were also used for transportation. Lev Mechnikov, a 19th century Russian scientist, wrote this in his book Tsivilizatsiya i velikiye istoricheskiye reki (Civilization and Great Historical Rivers): "Not only in the geological world or in the sphere of botany but also in the history of animals and man water serves as a motive force behind cultural development, behind the urge to leave river systems for inland sea coasts and, next, move to the ocean." He singled out three periods in historical development: the fluvial (Egyptian, Assyro-Babylonian, Indian and Chinese
civilizations); the Mediterranean (Phoenicia, Carthage, Greece, Rome); and the oceanic, primarily with reference ... Read more