Twenty new cultural and natural sites have been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List for this year.
The list includes several sites in Europe, Asia, Middle East and South America mainly covering sites of cultural interest.
In total the UNESCO World Heritage List now includes 1,001 sites with 1, 627 sites from 171 countries currently in the tentative list.
In Europe the additions include the Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey in Germany, the only standing sculpture from the Carolingian era between 822 and 855AD, as is a cave at the Pont d’Arc in France that has prehistoric drawings on a limestone plateau.
Five wine-growing areas of Langhe and Monferrato in Piedmont, Italy were also added as well as the 1920s-built Van Nellefabriek factory in Rotterdam.
Further east there were two Turkey entries: the eight sites that make up the city of Bursa and nearby Cumalikizik in recognition as the area of the birth of the Ottoman Empire, and the Pergamon acropolis and surrounding area.
The ‘city under a city’ caves that sit underneath the cities of Maresha and Bet Gurvin in Israel are also on the list as well as the Erbil Citadel in Iraq.
Historic Jeddah and the Gate to Makkah in Saudi Arabia is also now on the list as is the Battir area in southern Jerusalem and the mud brick city of Shahr-I Sokhta in Iran.
The only natural site, which also happened to be the only site in Africa added, is the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
There was only one addition from the USA, in the form of the earthworks at Poverty Point in the Lower Mississippi Valley.
Further south the Qhapaq Nan road system that covers 30,000 kilometres on the peaks of the Andes through Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colomia, Ecuador and Peru was added to the list.
Sites from Asia added to the UNESCO list were China’s The Grand Canal; the Tomioka Silk Mill in Japan; the mountainous city of Namhansanseong in Korea; the Pyu Ancient Cities in Myanmar; the Queen’s Stepwell (Rani-ki-Vav) at Patan, India and the Silk Roads that run from Chang’an/Luoyang in China to the Zhetsyu Region.