Breast-shaped hill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A breast-shaped hill in the Western Sahara
There is an ancient Iberian archaeological site beneath the Mola Murada, one of the mountains of the Moles de Xert, Spain.

A breast-shaped hill is a hill in the shape of a breast. Some such hills are named "Pap", an archaic word for the breast or nipple of a woman. Such anthropomorphic geographic features are to be found in different places of the world and in some cultures they were revered as the attributes of the Mother Goddess, such as the Paps of Anu, named after Anu, an important female deity of pre-Christian Ireland.[1]


The Mamelon Central, formed by the Bory and Dolomieu craters, Piton de la Fournaise, on 28 brumaire 1801. Drawing by Jean-Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent.

The name Mamucium that gave origin to the name of the city of Manchester is thought to derive from the Celtic language meaning "breast-shaped hill", referring to the sandstone bluff on which the fort stood; this later evolved into the name Manchester.[2][3]

Breast-shaped hills are often connected with local ancestral veneration of the breast as a symbol of fertility and well-being. It is not uncommon for very old archaeological sites to be located in or below such hills, as on Samson, Isles of Scilly, where there are large ancient burial grounds both on the North Hill and South Hill,[4][5] or Burrén and Burrena, Aragon, Spain, where two Iron Age Urnfield culture archaeological sites lie beneath the hills.[6]

The "Breasts of Aphrodite" in Mykonos, Greece.

Many of the myths surrounding these mountains are ancient and enduring and some have been recorded in the oral literature or written texts; for example, in an unspecified location in Asia, there was a mountain known as "Breast Mountain" with a cave in which the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma (Da Mo) spent a long time in meditation.[7]

Travelers and cartographers in colonial times often changed the ancestral names of such hills. The mountain known as "Didhol" or "Dithol", Woman's Breast by the Indigenous Australian people, was rechristened Pigeon House Mountain by Captain James Cook at the time of his exploration of Australia's eastern coast in 1770.[8]

"Mamelon" (from French "nipple") is a French name for a breast-shaped hillock.[9] Fort Mamelon was a famous hillock fortified by the Russians and captured by the French as part of the Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War of the 1850s. The word "mamelon" is also used in volcanology to describe a particular rock formation of volcanic origin. The term was coined by the French explorer and naturalist Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent.[10]


The thelarchic-shaped Naasa Hablood in Somaliland (1896)
View of one of the Trois Mamelles in Mauritius. Drawing from page 121 of Atlas by Jacques-Gérard Milbert.
African Great Lakes
Horn of Africa
Indian Ocean
Southern Africa
West Africa



Middle East


Paps of Anu. View of the western Pap from the eastern Pap, Ireland.
UK and Ireland
Marens Patter (literally "Maren's breasts") in Denmark.
  • Marens Patter (Maren's Tits), a pair of twin hills that has functioned as a landmark for seafarers since the Bronze Ages.

North and Central America[edit]

El Salvador
Puerto Rico
United States


Saddle Hill, as seen from Lookout Point, Dunedin, New Zealand.
New Zealand

South America[edit]

French Guiana


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The feminine in early Irish myth and legend". Scoilnet. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D. (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-852758-6.
  3. ^ Hylton (2003), p. 6.
  4. ^ Samson, South Hill Chambered Cairn - The Megalithic Portal
  5. ^ Samson, North Hill - The Megalithic Portal
  6. ^ Burrén. Parque Arqueológico de la Primera Edad del Hierro en Frescano
  7. ^ "The Story of Bodhidharma". USA Shaolin Temple. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Didhol (Pigeon House Mountain)". South Coast of NSW. Morningside web publishers. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  9. ^ Moureau, M.; Brace, G. (January 2008). Dictionnaire Du Petrole Et Autres Sources D'Energie: Anglais-Franncais, Francais-Anglais [Comprehensive Dictionary of Petroleum and Other Energy Sources]. Editions Technip. p. 936. ISBN 2-7108-0911-7. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  10. ^ Decobecq, Dominique. "L'histoire du cratère Dolomieu (Piton de la Fournaise)" (in French). Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  11. ^ Jackman, Brian (16 January 2009). "Africa: taking flight over Kenya's elephant country". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Sheba's Breasts & Execution Rock". The Kingdom of Eswatini. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  13. ^ Lay, Vicheka (25 March 2005). "Cambodian Resort "Virtuous Woman's Breast" Mountain". Tales of Asia. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Virac (Capital Town)". Catanduanes Local Government. 2010. Archived from the original on 9 March 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Maiden's breast mountain, Occ. Mindoro (photo)". Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Doi Phu Nom picture". Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  17. ^ "The Legend of Khanom". Ice Family Tour. 2007. Archived from the original on 2 April 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  18. ^ "Nom Sao Island (Ko Nom Sao)". Archived from the original on 22 March 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  19. ^ Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park - Activities Archived 17 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Ko Nom Sao". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  21. ^ "Chanthaburi, Laem Sing Beach". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  22. ^ "The meaning of place names in Ashfield". Ashfield District Council. Retrieved 4 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "Tetica de Bacares, Sierra de los Filabres (2.080 m. altitud) (photo)". Panoramio. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  24. ^ Burrén y Burrena, las "dos teticas" con historia en Fréscano Archived 2011-04-30 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Nicaragua. Ometepe Island. Between ancient legends and biodiversity". SouthWorld. February 2017.
  26. ^ "Bubble Mountains". Hike Bubble Mountains ME. July 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  27. ^ "Pinnacle Mountain State Park". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  28. ^ Evans, Frances P. (August 1958). "The Mystic Huajatolla". Trail and Timberline. Colorado Mountain Club: 103.
  29. ^ "Geology". Jackson 2011. Archived from the original on 8 February 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  30. ^ Archived 14 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "Uncanoonuc Mountains". Dan LaRochelle. Retrieved 9 April 2012.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ "Mollies Nipple Visit Utah". Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  33. ^ Squawteat Peak archaeological site, The Handbook of Texas
  34. ^ Cerro Tres Tetas - Argentina
  35. ^ "Cerro Batoví" (in Spanish). Enciclopedia Geográfica del Uruguay. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  36. ^ "Teta de Niquitao" (in Spanish). Cúspides Venezuela. 2008. Archived from the original on 19 March 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2011.

External links[edit]