Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "Unesco"

Fresh off of gaining two new entries to the UNESCO World Heritage List, Turkey is more eager than ever to exercise greater caution regarding access to ancient sites in an effort to avoid the fate that has befallen other ancient sites damaged by 21st-century tourism.

“A balance must be achieved between attracting tourists keen to visit Turkey’s classical heritage and protecting ancient sites from being harmed,” Professor Neslihan Dostoğlu, head of Istanbul Kültür University’s Architecture Department, said in the wake of the northwestern city of Bursa and its historical Cumalıkızık district being added to the UNESCO World Heritage List last month in Doha.

Having presided over the UNESCO project for Bursa and Cumalıkızık, Dostoğlu said a more controlled and conscious protection of the areas would take place under the United Nations body. Read more.

The Columbian settlements with Stone Spheres of Diquís (Costa Rica) today joined the list of sites declared as a World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

The area is located south of the country, covering four areas of archaeological remains in the delta of the river Diquís. They are considered exceptional prevailing testimonies of complex social and economic civilizations from the period between 500 and 1500 AD.

The World Heritage site consists of mounds, paved areas, graves and in particular, a series of stone spheres from 0.7 to 2.57 meters in diameter whose creation, use and significance remain largely a mystery to this day. Read more.


The Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul in Mexico’s Campeche state have been named “mixed natural and cultural” World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

The World Heritage Committee added the two Mexican sites to the World Heritage List at its meeting in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday.

This is the first mixed site in Mexico added by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, to its list, the INAH said. Read more.

YANGON — Myanmar’s three Pyu ancient cities are now included in the World Heritage List, state media quoted the UNESCO reports Monday.

According to a statement of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage Committee, the three Myanmar ancient cities of Hanlin, Beikthano, and Sri Kestra, which still have brick walls and moats, were inscribed into the list during the 38th session of the committee held in Doha, Qatar.

Myanmar submitted its request for inscription in October 1996.

The three ancient cities are located in the vast irrigated lands of the dry zone of the Ayeyawaddy River Basin and reflect the Pyu Kingdom that were prosperous for over 1,000 years between 200 BC and 900 AD. Read more.


UN cultural agency UNESCO on Sunday granted its prized World Heritage status to a prehistoric cave in southern France containing the earliest known figurative drawings.

Delegates at UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted to grant the status to the Grotte Chauvet at a gathering in Doha, where they are considering cultural and natural wonders for inclusion on the UN list.

The cave in the Ardeche region, which survived sealed off for millennia before its discovery in 1994, contains more than 1,000 drawings dating back some 36,000 years to what is believed to be the first human culture in Europe. Read more.

Turkey has been elected to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced on June 4.

Turkey surpassed France and Italy to claim a seat emptied by Spain’s withdrawal from the committee, Davutoğlu said in the southwestern province of Muğla, pledging hard work in line with UNESCO’s goals.

The election came at UNESCO’s fifth general assembly at its headquarters in Paris.

Turkey will serve for a four year term during 2014-2018. It served before in 2006-2010. The committee will have its ninth session in November this year. (source)

The head of UNESCO sounded an alarm about widespread illegal archeological excavations across war-ravaged Syria on Friday, saying the U.N. cultural, education and science arm has warned auction houses, museums and collections about the problem.

More than 100,000 people have died in Syria’s 2 1/2-year civil war, which has forced millions to flee their homes and created a massive humanitarian crisis. In addition to the loss of life and destruction of property, UNESCO says Syria’s cultural heritage - and reporters trying to the cover the war - are increasingly under threat.

"The biggest danger there, apart from the destruction we have seen of the world heritage sites … is the illicit archeological excavations," Irina Bokova, head of Paris-based UNESCO, told reporters. "This is something that is not very high on the radar of the international community." Read more.

A victim of its own success and fragility, the World Heritage site of Petra is currently under assessment to limit the safety risks it poses to both tourists and its local population.

A two-and-a-half year UNESCO project, which was launched in July 2012 to monitor the slopes in the Siq as a response to the instability of its sandstone rocks, unearthed other underlying challenges facing the site, according to UNESCO.

Monitoring devices have been installed to identify and document the most unstable areas in the Siq, the 1.2-kilometre path leading to the iconic Treasury, and will result in the creation of a set of guidelines to better manage the site and mitigate risk. Read more.