UN cultural agency UNESCO on Tuesday urged Malian and French forces fighting in Mali to protect ancient cultural sites during air raids and ground attacks.
“I ask all armed forces to make every effort to protect the cultural heritage of the country, which has already been severely damaged,” UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said in a statement.
French warplanes have been hitting targets in various parts of the country since Friday in support of Malian forces seeking to dislodge Islamist rebels who last year seized control of its vast desert north.
The rebels have since fled three key cities in the north, including Timbuktu, a UNESCO World Heritage site at a desert crossroads that was an ancient centre of learning. Read more.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has turned down Pakistan’s request for heritage status for its three cities of historical importance, local media reported yesterday.
According to the report, the Unesco rejected the request due to the government’s neglect of these ancient treasures.
In 2010, the government sent 10 entries for Unesco world heritage status. It particularly sought recognition for the 7,000 BC Mehergarh site in southwestern Balochistan, the pre-Harappa 4,000 BC Rehman Dheri in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the 2,600 BC Harappa site in Punjab.
Mehergarh is considered one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology while Harappa has one of the most fascinating and mysterious cultures of the world.
A Unesco official was quoted as saying that Pakistan must have to adopt some measures before its sites can be inducted into the world heritage list.
“Sadly, none of the sites fulfil world standard requirements and its archaeological sites are missing basic public facilities,” the official pointed out. Read more.
The results are in from China’s most recent national heritage census — the first in more than 20 years — and they’re not good.
According to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), around 44,000 of China’s 766,722 registered heritage sites have completely disappeared, while approximately a quarter of those remaining are either “poorly preserved” or “in a state of disrepair.” No sites were specifically mentioned in the census, but the study included ancient ruins, temples and other cultural relics.
According to Liu Xiaohe, deputy director of the survey, economic construction is among the biggest reasons for the destruction. Many of the vanished sites were completely unprotected or ignored by protection units overseeing national and provincial cultural relics, thereby allowing their demolition in favor of construction projects. In addition, some heritage sites were destroyed without explanation. Read more.
Legs crisscrossed in a circle, the little bodies attached wiggling with excitement as artifacts make the rounds.
Erin Willow, an archeologist with Stantec Consulting, passes around a “projectile point”, an arrowhead crafted of chip stone by First Nations people 9,000 years ago.
The artifacts spark conversation among the group of four-ish year-olds at Discovery House Childcare Centre as they celebrated National Aboriginal Day (June 21) with a little dig of their own. The Stantec Consultants were at the centre to help the children learn about local First Nation heritage and how to handle and protect archeological finds. Read more.