V(otum) S(olvit) L(ibens) M(erito)

News and stories from the world of Archaeology and its related disciplines

Two new sites inscribed on World Heritage List


The World Heritage Committee holding its 34th session in Brasilia under the chairmanship of  João Luiz da Silva Ferreira, today inscribed two new sites on the World Heritage List.

The new sites include 1 natural property and 1 mixed (natural and cultural) property.

The natural site is:

The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s highlands are situated in the south-central part of the island. The  property comprises the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest.  These montane forests, where the land rises to 2,500 metres above sea-level, are home to an extraordinary range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species such as the western-purple-faced langur, the Horton Plains slender loris and the Sri Lankan leopard. The region is considered a super biodiversity hotspot.

The mixed site is:

Papahānaumokuākea (United States of America)

Papahānaumokuākea is a vast and isolated linear cluster of small, low lying islands and atolls, with their surrounding ocean, roughly 250 km to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Archipelago and extending over some 1931 km. The area has deep cosmological and traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture, as an ancestral environment, as an embodiment of the Hawaiian concept of kinship between people and the natural world, and as the place where it is believed that life originates and to where the spirits return after death. On two of the islands, Nihoa and Makumanamana, there are archaeological remains  relating to pre-European settlement and use. Much of the monument is made up of pelagic and deepwater habitats, with notable features such as seamounts and submerged banks, extensive coral reefs and lagoons. It is one of the largest marine protected areas (MPAs) in the world.

These new inscriptions bring the total number of World Heritage Properties to 892. The World Heritage Committee will continue  examining nominations for inscription of new sites on Saturday, 31 July.



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Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery inscribed on List of WH in Danger


The World Heritage Committee, holding its 34th session chaired by João Luiz da Silva Ferreira, the Minister of Culture of Brazil, has inscribed the site of Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Georgia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Bagrati cathedral in Kutaisi, Georgia

The Committee expressed its serious concern about irreversible interventions carried out on the site as part of a major reconstruction project. The Committee believes this project will undermine the integrity and authenticity of the site and should be immediately halted.

The construction of Bagrati Cathedral, named after Bagrat III, the first king of united Georgia, started at the end of the 10th century and was completed in the early years of the 11th century. The Gelati Monastery, whose main buildings were erected between the 12th and 17th centuries, is a well-preserved complex, with wonderful mosaics and wall paintings. The cathedral and monastery represent the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia.


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