Unesco on Friday put four new sites on its World Heritage List.
The new sites, announced in the Turkish city of Istanbul, include China’s Zuojiang Huashan rock art cultural landscape, Iran’s ancient aqueducts known as Qanat, and India’s archaeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara.
A press release issued by UNESCO read: “Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organised transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion.”
It further read: “The Nalanda Mahavihara site, in Bihar, comprises archaeological remains from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.”
Soon after the inscription, Union Minister for Culture, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, tweeted: #Nalanda an epitome of architectural excellence & learning gets listed in @UNESCO #WorldHeritageSite. Proud moment!
The World Heritage Committee also selected Micronesia’s artificial islets of Nan Madol and simultaneously placed it on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Made of basalt and coral boulders, the 99 artificial islets of Nan Madol are home to ruins ranging from temple to tombs dating between A.D. 1200 and 1500.
Dating back to the 5th century BC, Zuojiang Huashon rock art cultural landscape straddles steep cliffs in southwest China and represent the only trace left of the Luoyue people.
Iran’s Qanat system tapped into alluvial aquifer and transported water underground across vast valleys helping sustain agricultural life and settlements in arid areas.
Gathered from 10-20 July in Istanbul, the committee is reviewing 27 sites of special cultural or natural significance which have been nominated for the World Heritage List.