Thinking Citizen Blog — The Caucasus — Prometheus, Noah’s Ark, Jesus, and more

Thinking Citizen Blog — Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day

Today’s Topic — Mountains of the World (VI): The Caucasus — Prometheus, Noah’s Ark, Jesus, and more

The Caucasus Mountains consist of two roughly parallel ranges between the Black and Caspian Seas, dramatically visible in the satellite photo below. The northern most is the Greater Caucasus separating Russia (to the north) from Georgia and Azerbaijan (to the south). The southern range is the Lesser Caucasus with Georgia and Azerbaijan to the north and Turkey, Armenia, and Iran to the south. The watershed of the Greater Caucasus has been considered by some to be the boundary between Europe and Asia. But others draw the line further to the north or south. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

THE GREATER CAUCASUS — 750 miles from the Taman Peninsula on the Black Sea to Baku on the Caspian

1. The highest peak in Europe is Mt. Elbrus (18,549 feet), a double-coned dormant volcano. “In Greek mythology the Titan Prometheus was changed to the mountain by Zeus for stealing fire from Gods and giving it to the mankind.”

2. Three segments: from the Taman Peninsula to Mt. Elbrus, from Elbrus to Mt. Kazbek (16,512 feet) the second highest volcanic summit, then from Kazbek to Baku.

3. In Georgian legend, Mt. Kazbek has a cave which houses both Abraham’s tent and the manger of Jesus.


1. “The Western half overlaps and converges with the high plateau of Eastern Anatolia in the far northeast of Turkey.”

2. It is connected to the Greater Caucasus by the Likhi Range (Georgia) and separated from it by the Kolkida Lowland Georgia) in the west and Kura-Aras Lowland (Azerbaijan) and the Kura River in the east.”

3. The highest peak is Aragats (13, 420 feet). According to Armenian legend “Gregory the Illuminator, who converted Armenia into Christianity in the early 4th century, used to pray on the peak of the mountain. At nighttime an icon-lamp shone to give light for him, the lamp hanging from heaven using no rope. Some say that the icon-lamp is still there, but only the worthy ones can see it.”

NB: On May 28, 2005 a “Dance of Unity” was held at Mt. Aragats celebrating the anniversary of Armenian independence in 1918. A quarter of a million people attended. A one hundred mlle ring was established around the mountain.

THE ARMENIAN HIGHLANDS AND MT. ARARAT (the resting place of Noah’s Ark, maybe)

1. South of the Lesser Caucasus are the Armenian Highlands, the highest peak of which is Mt. Ararat (16.854 feet) which “forms a near-quadripoint between Turkey, Armenia, Iran, and the Nakhchivan enclave of Azerbaijan.”

2. Mt. Ararat is the symbol of Armenia and is visible from its capital of Yerevan. However, it is located in Turkey. Legend has it that Mt. Ararat is where Noah’s Ark landed.

3. “Clockwise starting from the west, the Armenian Highlands is bounded by the Anatolian plateau, the Caucasus, the Kura-Aras Lowlands, the Iranian Plateau and Mesopotamia.”

THE ALPIDE BELT — the bigger context

1. A seismic and orogenic belt stretching 9000 miles from Indonesia to Spain and North Africa.

2. “The second most seismically active region in the world (after the Ring of Fire)…with 17% of the world’s largest earthquakes.”

3. “The Alpide belt is being created by ongoing plate tectonics such as the Alpine orogeny.”

NB: “The belt is the result of the Mezozoic-to-Cenozoic-to-recent closure of the Tethys Ocean and process of collision between the northward-moving African, Arabian and Indian plates with the Eurasian plate.”

Caucasus Mountains

Caucasus | Mountains, Facts, & Map

Greater Caucasus

File:Possible definitions of the boundary between Europe and Asia.png — Wikimedia Commons

Georgia–Russia border

Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus | mountain, Russia

Mount Kazbek

Mount Aragats

Mount Ararat

Armenian Highlands

Alpide belt

Click here for the last three years of posts arranged by theme:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive


Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to climate change or the environment. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to climate change that the rest of us may have missed. Your favorite chart or table perhaps…

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.



Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.