Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor

This property is a 5,000 km section of the extensive Silk Roads network, stretching from Chang’an/Luoyang, the central capital of China in the Han and Tang dynasties, to the Zhetysu region of Central Asia. 
It took shape between the 2nd century BC and 1st century AD and remained in use until the 16th century, linking multiple civilizations and facilitating far-reaching exchanges of activities in trade, religious beliefs, scientific knowledge, technological innovation, cultural practices and the arts. 
The thirty-three components included in the routes network include capital cities and palace complexes of various empires and Khan kingdoms, trading settlements, 
Buddhist cave temples, ancient paths, posthouses, passes, beacon towers, sections of The Great Wall, fortifications, tombs and religious buildings.








Tomsk

Tomsk Oblast is an oblast of Russia. 
The oblast is located in the SE of the West Siberian Lowland, in the SW of the Siberian Federal District. 
Development of the area began early in the 17th century. 
The city of Tomsk was founded in 1604.








Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Shahr-i Sokhta - Iran

Shahr-i Sokhta, meaning ‘Burnt City’, is located at the junction of Bronze Age trade routes crossing the Iranian plateau. 
The remains of the mudbrick city represent the emergence of the first complex societies in eastern Iran. Founded around 3200 BC, it was populated during four main periods up to 1800 BC, during which time there developed several distinct areas within the city: those where monuments were built, and separate quarters for housing, burial and manufacture. 
Diversions in water courses and climate change led to the eventual abandonment of the city in the early second millennium. 
The structures, burial grounds and large number of significant artefacts unearthed there, and their well-preserved state due to the dry desert climate, make this site a rich source of information regarding the emergence of complex societies and contacts between them in the third millennium BC.








Usumacinta

The Usumacinta is a river in Guatemala and Mexico and the most important river of the ancient Mayan lands. 
It is approximately 560 km long. 
It rises in the southern highlands of Guatemala, El Petén, and flows northwest, where for some time it forms Guatemala's western border with Chiapas.








Monday, May 20, 2024

Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat - India

Rani-ki-Vav, on the banks of the Saraswati River, was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD. 
Stepwells are a distinctive form of subterranean water resource and storage systems on the Indian subcontinent, and have been constructed since the 3rd millennium BC. 
They evolved over time from what was basically a pit in sandy soil towards elaborate multi-storey works of art and architecture. 
Rani-ki-Vav was built at the height of craftsmens’ ability in stepwell construction and the Maru-Gurjara architectural style, reflecting mastery of this complex technique and great beauty of detail and proportions. Designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water, it is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels of high artistic quality; more than 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works. 
The fourth level is the deepest and leads into a rectangular tank 9.5 m by 9.4 m, at a depth of 23 m. 
The well is located at the westernmost end of the property and consists of a shaft 10 m in diameter and 30 m deep.








Air Midwest Flight 5481

Air Midwest Flight 5481 was operated by a Beechcraft 1900D aircraft that crashed and caught fire during a flight from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport on January 8, 2003. 
None of the occupants survived the disaster.








Sunday, May 19, 2024

Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System

This site is an extensive Inca communication, trade and defence network of roads covering 30,000 km. Constructed by the Incas over several centuries and partly based on pre-Inca infrastructure, this extraordinary network through one of the world’s most extreme geographical terrains linked the snow-capped peaks of the Andes – at an altitude of more than 6,000 m – to the coast, running through hot rainforests, fertile valleys and absolute deserts. 
It reached its maximum expansion in the 15th century, when it spread across the length and breadth of the Andes. 
The Qhapac Ñan, Andean Road System includes 273 component sites spread over more than 6,000 km that were selected to highlight the social, political, architectural and engineering achievements of the network, along with its associated infrastructure for trade, accommodation and storage, as well as sites of religious significance.