Tag Archives: whs

Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy

The site consists of seventeen buildings in Muharraq City, three offshore oyster beds, part of the seashore and the Qalโ€™at Bu Mahir fortress on the southern tip of Muharraq Island, from where boats used to set off for the oyster beds. The listed buildings include residences of wealthy merchants, shops, storehouses and a mosque. The site is the last remaining complete example of the cultural tradition of pearling and the wealth it generated at a time when the trade dominated the Gulf economy (2nd century to the 1930s, when Japan developed cultured pearls). It also constitutes an outstanding example of traditional utilization of the seaโ€™s resources and human interaction with the environment, which shaped both the economy and the cultural identity of the islandโ€™s society.

Since 2012 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Edwin for the postcard.

M’Zab Valley

A traditional human habitat, created in the 10th century by the Ibadites around their five ksour (fortified cities), has been preserved intact in the Mโ€™Zab valley. Simple, functional and perfectly adapted to the environment, the architecture of Mโ€™Zab was designed for community living, while respecting the structure of the family. It is a source of inspiration for todayโ€™s urban planners.

Since 1982 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Karim for the postcard.

Choirokoitia

The Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, occupied from the 7th to the 4th millennium B.C., is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the eastern Mediterranean. Its remains and the finds from the excavations there have thrown much light on the evolution of human society in this key region. Since only part of the site has been excavated, it forms an exceptional archaeological reserve for future study.

Since 1998 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Luca for the postcard.

Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa’a)

Most of this archaeological site, which started as a Roman military camp and grew to become a town from the 5th century, has not been excavated. It contains remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods (end of 3rd to 9th centuries AD) and a fortified Roman military camp. The site also has 16 churches, some with well-preserved mosaic floors. Particularly noteworthy is the mosaic floor of the Church of Saint Stephen with its representation of towns in the region. Two square towers are probably the only remains of the practice, well known in this part of the world, of the stylites (ascetic monks who spent time in isolation atop a column or tower). Um er-Rasas is surrounded by, and dotted with, remains of ancient agricultural cultivation in an arid area.

Since 2004 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Luca for the postcard.

Birka and Hovgรฅrden

The Birka archaeological site is located on Bjรถrkรถ Island in Lake Mรคlar and was occupied in the 9th and 10th centuries. Hovgรฅrden is situated on the neighbouring island of Adelsรถ. Together, they make up an archaeological complex which illustrates the elaborate trading networks of Viking-Age Europe and their influence on the subsequent history of Scandinavia. Birka was also important as the site of the first Christian congregation in Sweden, founded in 831 by St Ansgar.

Since 1993 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Doris for the postcards.

Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany

Twelve villas and two gardens spread across the Tuscan landscape make up this site which bears testimony to the influence the Medici family exerted over modern European culture through its patronage of the arts. Built between the 15thย and 17thย centuries, they represent an innovative system of construction in harmony with nature and dedicated to leisure, the arts and knowledge. The villas embody an innovative form and function, a new type of princely residence that differed from both the farms owned by rich Florentines of the period and from the military might of baronial castles. The Medici villas form the first example of the connection between architecture, gardens, and the environment and became an enduring reference for princely residences throughout Italy and Europe. Their gardens and integration into the natural environment helped develop the appreciation of landscape characteristic Humanism and the Renaissance.

Since 2013 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to me for the postcard.

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Lโ€™Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site

At the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, the remains of an 11th-century Viking settlement are evidence of the first European presence in North America. The excavated remains of wood-framed peat-turf buildings are similar to those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland.

Since 1978 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Karine for the postcard.