Beijing: About 160 historical sites, including the Peking Man World Heritage Site at Zhoukoudian, were damaged in floods caused by the heaviest rainfall in six decades in Beijing and suburbs.
Seventy seven people were killed in the incessant rains which also left a trail of destruction causing direct economic losses of about USD 125 million, Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage said.
The deluge caused several small-scale landslides at the Peking Man site and disabled its security system, Li Yan, the senior administrator at Zhoukoudian, located in a village 50 kilometres southwest of Beijing said.
A museum at the site was flooded, but the major exhibits are all safe.
Dirt and mud washed by the heaviest rainfall in six decades covered part of the archaeological dig at Zhoukoudian and halted researchers’ work for at least three days, state-run China Daily quoted Zhang Shuangquan, an archaeologist at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as saying.
"If the rock stratum collapses, it would lose its value for archaeology…A period of human civilization would be buried in mystery forever," Zhang, who has been excavating the site since 2009 said. Read more.
A total of 26 places around the globe, including farmhouses in Sweden and a Neolithic site in Turkey, have been added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites so far this year, according to a recent announcement during the World Heritage Committee’s annual meeting.
Some spots are famed for their unique natural beauty and others for their cultural significance. With the addition of the 26 sites, there are now 962 World Heritage Sites around the planet.
Here’s a list of the newest additions:
Five natural sites were inscribed during the present session: Lakes of Ounianga (Chad); Sangha Trinational (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo,); Chengjiang Fossil Site (China); Western Ghats (India); Lena Pillars Nature Park (Russian Federation). Read more.