Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda, Bihar (India)

The Nalanda Mahavihara site is in the State of Bihar, in north-eastern India. 
It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating 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. 
Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. 
It engaged in the organized 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 and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Archaeological Site of Philippi (Greece)

The remains of this walled city lie at the foot of an acropolis in north-eastern Greece, on the ancient route linking Europe and Asia, the Via Egnatia. 
Founded in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II, the city developed as a “small Rome” with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the decades following the Battle of Philippi, in 42 BCE. 
The vibrant Hellenistic city of Philip II, of which the walls and their gates, the theatre and the funerary heroon (temple) are to be seen, was supplemented with Roman public buildings such as the Forum and a monumental terrace with temples to its north. 
Later the city became a centre of the Christian faith following the visit of the Apostle Paul in 49-50 CE. 
The remains of its basilicas constitute an exceptional testimony to the early establishment of Christianity. 

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura (Germany)

Modern humans first arrived in Europe 43,000 years ago during the last ice age. 
One of the areas where they took up residence was the Swabian Jura in southern Germany. 
Excavated from the 1860s, six caves have revealed items dating from 43,000 to 33,000 years ago. 
Among them are carved figurines of animals (including cave lions, mammoths, horses and bovids), musical instruments and items of personal adornment. 
Other figurines depict creatures that are half animal, half human and there is one statuette of a woman. 
These archaeological sites feature some of the oldest figurative art worldwide and help shed light on the origins of human artistic development.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Taputapuātea (France)

Taputapuātea on Ra’iātea Island is at the centre of the ‘Polynesian Triangle’, a vast portion of the Pacific Ocean, dotted with islands, and the last part of the globe to be settled by humans. 
The property includes two forested valleys, a portion of lagoon and coral reef and a strip of open ocean. 
At the heart of the property is the Taputapuātea marae complex, a political, ceremonial and funerary centre. 
It is characterized by several marae, with different functions. 
Widespread in Polynesia, the marae were places where the world of the living intersected the world of the ancestors and the gods. 
Taputapuātea is an exceptional testimony to 1,000 years of mā'ohi civilization.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Gorham's Cave Complex - Gibraltar (United Kingdom)

The steep limestone cliffs on the eastern side of the Rock of Gibraltar contain four caves with archaeological and paleontological deposits that provide evidence of Neanderthal occupation over a span of more than 100,000 years. 
This exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions of the Neanderthals is seen notably in evidence of the hunting of birds and marine animals for food, the use of feathers for ornamentation and the presence of abstract rock engravings. 
Scientific research on these sites has already contributed substantially to debates about Neanderthal and human evolution.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Kujataa Greenland: Norse and Inuit Farming at the Edge of the Ice Cap (Denmark)

Kujataa is a subarctic farming landscape located in the southern region of Greenland. 
It bears witness to the cultural histories of the Norse farmer-hunters who started arriving from Iceland in the 10th century and of the Inuit hunters and Inuit farming communities that developed from the end of the 18th century. 
Despite their differences, the two cultures, European Norse and Inuit, created a cultural landscape based on farming, grazing and marine mammal hunting. 
The landscape represents the earliest introduction of farming to the Arctic, and the Norse expansion of settlement beyond Europe.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Xinjiang Tianshan (China)

Xinjiang Tianshan comprises four components—Tomur, Kalajun-Kuerdening, Bayinbukuke and Bogda— that total 606,833 hectares. 
They are part of the Tianshan mountain system of Central Asia, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. 
Xinjiang Tianshan presents unique physical geographic features and scenically beautiful areas including spectacular snow and snowy mountains glacier-capped peaks, undisturbed forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes and red bed canyons. These landscapes contrast with the vast adjacent desert landscapes, creating a striking visual contrast between hot and cold environments, dry and wet, desolate and luxuriant. 
The landforms and ecosystems of the site have been preserved since the Pliocene epoch and present an outstanding example of ongoing biological and ecological evolutionary processes. 
The site also extends into the Taklimakan Desert, one of the world’s largest and highest deserts, known for its large dune forms and great dust storms. 
Xinjiang Tianshan is moreover an important habitat for endemic and relic flora species, some rare and endangered.

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