Krzemionki Prehistoric Striped Flint Mining Region

Brief description

Located in the mountain region of Świętokrzyskie, Krzemionki is an ensemble of four mining sites, dating from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age (about 3900 to 1600 BCE), dedicated to the extraction and processing of striped flint, which was mainly used for axe-making. With its underground mining structures, flint workshops and some 4,000 shafts and pits, the site features one of the most comprehensive prehistoric underground flint extraction and processing systems identified to date. The site provides information about life and work in prehistoric settlements and bears witness to an extinct cultural tradition. It is an exceptional testimony of the importance of the prehistoric period and of flint mining for tool production in human history.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1599

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poland-krzemionki-flint-mines.web

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Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi

Brief description

This site is located on the northern edge of the semi-arid Great Plains of North America, on the border between Canada and the United States of America. The Milk River Valley dominates the topography of this cultural landscape, which is characterized by a concentration of pillars or hoodoos – columns of rock sculpted by erosion into spectacular shapes. The Blackfoot (Siksikáíítsitapi) people left engravings and paintings on the sandstone walls of the Milk River Valley, bearing testimony to messages from Sacred Beings. The archaeological remains date from 1800 BCE to the beginning of the post-contact period. This landscape is considered sacred to the Blackfoot people, and their centuries-old traditions are perpetuated through ceremonies and in enduring respect for the places.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1597

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Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhouang — Plain of Jars

Brief description

The Plain of Jars, located on a plateau in central Laos, gets its name from more than 2,100 tubular-shaped megalithic stone jars used for funerary practices in the Iron Age. This serial site of 15 components contains large carved stone jars, stone discs, secondary burials, tombstones, quarries and funerary objects dating from 500 BCE to 500 CE. The jars and associated elements are the most prominent evidence of the Iron Age civilization that made and used them until it disappeared, around 500 CE.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1587

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Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City

Brief description

Located in the Yangtze River Basin on the south-eastern coast of the country, the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu (about 3300-2300 BCE) reveal an early regional state with a unified belief system based on rice cultivation in Late Neolithic China. The property is composed of four areas – the Area of Yaoshan Site, the Area of High-dam at the Mouth of the Valley, the Area of Low-dam on the Plain and the Area of City Site. These ruins are an outstanding example of early urban civilization expressed in earthen monuments, urban planning, a water conservation system and a social hierarchy expressed in differentiated burials in cemeteries within the property.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1592

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Dilmun Burial Mounds

Brief description

The Dilmun Burial Mounds, built between 2050 and 1750 BCE, span over 21 archaeological sites in the western part of the island. Six of these sites are burial mound fields consisting of a few dozen to several thousand tumuli. In all there are about 11,774 burial mounds, originally in the form of cylindrical low towers. The other 15 sites include 17 royal mounds, constructed as two-storeyed sepulchral towers.

The burial mounds are evidence of the Early Dilmun civilization, around the 2nd millennium BCE, during which Bahrain became a trade hub, whose prosperity enabled the inhabitants to develop an elaborate burial tradition applicable to the entire population. These tombs illustrate globally unique characteristics, not only in terms of their number, density and scale, but also in terms of details such as burial chambers equipped with alcoves.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1542

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Babylon

Brief description

Babylon is an archaeological site which stands out as a unique testimony to one of the most influential empires of the ancient world. One of the largest, oldest settlements in Mesopotamia and the Middle East, it was the seat of successive powerful empires under such famous rulers as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar. As the capital of the NeoBabylonian Empire (626-539 BCE), it is the most exceptional testimony of this culture at its height and represents the expression of this civilization’s creativity through its unusual urbanism, the architecture of its monuments (religious, palatial and defensive) and their decorative expressions of royal power. Babylon radiated not only political, technical and artistic influence over all regions of the ancient Near and Middle East, but it also left a considerable scientific legacy in the fields of mathematics and astronomy.

As an archaeological site, Babylon possesses exceptional cultural and symbolic associations of universal value. The property represents the tangible remains of a multifaceted myth that has functioned as a model, parable, scapegoat and symbol for over two thousand years. Babylon figures in the religious texts and traditions of the three Abrahamic faiths and has consistently been a source of inspiration for literary, philosophical and artistic works. The buildings and other urban features contained within the boundaries of the property (outer and inner-city walls, gates, palaces, temples including the ziggurat, the probable inspiration for the Tower of Babel, etc.), include all its attributes as a unique testimony to the neoBabylonian civilization, in particular its contribution to architecture and urban design. Eighty-five percent of the property remains unexcavated and of primary importance to support the site’s Outstanding Universal Value through further conservation and research.

Unesco WHS list ref:  278

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Ancient Ferrous Metallurgy Sites of Burkina Faso

Brief description

The five components of the property bear witness to the ancient nature and importance of iron production, and its impact on pre-colonial societies in the Sahelian zone of Burkina Faso. Dated to the 8th century BCE, Douroula bears the most ancient testimony to the development of iron production currently identified in Burkina Faso, and illustrates this first and relatively early phase of the development of iron production in Africa. Tiwêga, Yamané, Kindibo and Békuy all have remarkably well conserved iron ore smelting furnaces. They are also the only sites in Burkina Faso to have furnaces in elevation. They are massive production sites that, through their scale, illustrate the intensification of iron production during the second millennium AD, at a time when Western African societies were becoming increasingly complex. The property is directly associated with living traditions embodied by the blacksmiths at Yamané, Kindibo and Douroula. These traditions are expressed today by symbolic values linked to iron technology among the communities of descendants of the blacksmiths and metallurgists.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1602

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