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42 new sites considered for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

From WHC:

Six of these countries stand to have properties inscribed on the World Heritage List for the first time during the forthcoming session: Barbados, Jamaica, Micronesia, Palau, Congo, and the United Arab Emirates.

Natural properties scheduled for consideration at the time of publication are: Ningaloo Coast (Australia); Pendjari National Park (Benin, an extension of W National Park of Niger); Wudalianchi National Park (China); Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Germany, an extension of the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians, Slovakia and Ukraine); Western Ghats (India); Harra Protected Area (Iran); Ogasawara Islands (Japan); Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley; (Kenya); Trinational Sangha (Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic) and the nomination under new criteria of the World Heritage property of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park (Viet Nam).

Three properties are proposed for both natural and cultural criteria as “mixed natural and cultural” sites. They are: Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (Jamaica); Wadi Rum (Jordan); and Saloum Delta (Senegal).

The following cultural properties will be considered for inscription: Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy (Bahrain); Bridgetown and its Garrison (Barbados); West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou (China); Coffee Cultural Landscape (Colombia); Konso Cultural Landscape (Ethiopia); The Causses and the Cévennes (France); The architectural work of Le Corbusier, an outstanding contribution to the Modern Movement (France, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Switzerland); Fagus Factory in Alfeld (Germany); The Persian Garden (Iran); The Land of Caves and Hiding (Israel); The Triple-arch Gate at Dan (Israel); The Longobards in Italy, Places of Power, 568 – 774 A.D., (Italy); Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land (Japan); Fort Jesus, Mombasa (Kenya); Fundidora Monterre (Mexico); Transboundary Nomination for Yapese Stone Money Sites in Palau and Yap (Micronesia / Palau); Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai (Mongolia); León Cathedral (Nicaragua); Oke-Idanre Cultural Landscape (Nigeria); Historical City of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia); Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana (Spain); Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe (Sudan); Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps (Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia); Ancient villages of Northern Syria (Syrian Arab Republic); Old City and Ramparts of Alanya with Seljuk Shipyard (Turkey); Selimiye Mosque and its social Complex (Turkey); Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatia Metropolitans (Ukraine); Cultural Sites of Al Ain: Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas (United Arab Emirates); Citadel of the Ho Dynasty (Viet Nam).

During the session, World Heritage Committee members will examine the state of conservation of 169 properties including the 34 sites inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger because of serious threats to their outstanding universal value.

The World Heritage Committee, responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, comprises representatives of 21 countries, elected by the States Parties of the World Heritage Convention for four years. Each year, the Committee adds new sites to the List.

New sites are proposed by States Parties. Applications are reviewed by two advisory bodies: cultural sites by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and natural sites by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The advisory bodies inform the Committee of their recommendations.

To date, the World Heritage List numbers 911 properties of “outstanding universal value,” including 704 cultural, 180 natural and 27 mixed properties in 151 States Parties. The World Heritage Convention has been ratified by 187 States Parties to date.

Filed under: Cultura, Heritage, , , ,

Celtic Princess discovered in Germany

From BBC News:

German experts are carefully taking apart a complete Celtic grave in the hope of finding out more about the Celts’ way of life, 2,600 years ago, in their Danube heartland.

It wasn’t the most glorious final journey for an aristocratic Celtic lady who, in life, clearly had a bit of style.

She died just over 2,600 years ago and rested in peace until a few months ago when her grave was dug up in its entirety – all 80 tonnes of it – and transported on the back of a truck through countless German towns.

In the grave, too, was a child, presumed to be hers. Their last inglorious journey ended in the back yard of the offices of the archaeological service of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

When the truck arrived, the grave encased almost entirely in concrete, was unloaded and a tent constructed around it. The archaeologists decided that removal of the whole grave would allow them to use the most modern resources of analysis, from computers to X-rays. From the gantry above a pit, archaeologists leant down and scraped the earth from the bones and jewels speck-by-speck. What emerged was the lady, the child and their ornaments.

Because of the amount of gold and amber jewellery, they are assumed to be important, a princess and the young prince or princess. It indicates that the early Celts had an aristocratic hierarchy, which has been a matter of dispute among archaeologists.

“It is the oldest princely female grave yet from the Celtic world,” said Dr Dirk Krausse, who is in charge of the dig.

“It is the only example of an early Celtic princely grave with a wooden chamber.”

The archaeologists are excited because this grave was preserved by the water-sodden soil of the region so that the oak of the floor was intact, for example, and that puts an exact date on it. The oak trees were felled 2,620 years ago, so, assuming they were felled for the grave, our lady died in 609BC.

The grave had also not been robbed down those 26 centuries, unlike many others. This means that the jewellery is still there, particularly beautiful brooches of ornate Celtic design in gold and in amber. We usually think of the Celtic heartland as the western edges of Europe – Wales, Scotland and Ireland and Brittany in France.

But Dr Krausse says the real Celtic heartland was actually in the region in the upper reaches of the Danube, from where the Celts could trade.

“Celtic art and Celtic culture have their origins in south-western Germany, eastern France and Switzerland and spread from there to other parts of Europe,” said Dr Krausse.

They were then squeezed by the tribes from the north and the Romans from the south, so that today they remain only on the western edges of the continent.

The lady in the grave reveals the Celts to have been a rather stylish people with a love of ornament, examples of which are coming out of the mud of the grave in the tent in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart.

From the gantry above the grave, Nicole Ebenger-Rest has been doing much of the painstaking excavation. As well as the rings and brooches, she uncovered the teeth of the Celtic princess. But what also excited her were specks of cloth or food or other organic matter which might reveal a way of life.

“It is a skeleton but it’s still a human being so you have a natural respect,” she said, looking her fellow human being in the face, across the divide of 26 centuries.

From BBC News.

Filed under: Archaeology, , , , , ,

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