Chichen Itza
Gebel Berkal

World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Relict Cultural Landscapes

The UNESCO Operational guidelines recognise a category of Cultural Landscape described as "Organically Evolved". Such a landscape "results from an initial social, economic, administrative, and/or religious imperative and has developed its present form by association with and in response to its natural environment. Such landscapes reflect that process of evolution in their form and component features. It further recognises 2 subcategories of such landscapes "Relict" and "Continuing" A Relict Landscape is a "fossil landscape where the evolutionary process came to an end at some time in the past, either abruptly or over a period. Its significant distinguishing features are, however, still visible in material form" Only sites categorised as such in UNESCO documentation are included.

The connection belongs to World Heritage Process connections.

Connected Sites

  • Ancient villages of Northern Syria: it is also a cultural landscape, in the organically evolved landscape category and the relict landscape subcategory (AB ev)
  • Bamiyan Valley
  • Blaenavon Industrial Landscape: the outstanding relict landscape of mineral exploitation, manufacturing, transport, and settlement (AB ev)
  • Cilento and Vallo di Diano: It is an excellent example of the relict cultural landscape (AB ev)
  • Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape: "The impact of mining on the Cornwall and West Devon landscape during the period 1700-1914 was large-scale and the speed at which the industry was abandoned resulted in an unparalleled relict primary mining landscape."
  • First Coffee Plantations: As per PJ Fowler, World Heritage Cultural Landscapes 1992-2002
  • Fray Bentos
  • Gobustan Rock Art
  • Incense Route of the Negev
  • Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine: OUV Crit iv - "The resulting relict landscape, which includes the surviving settlements of the people related to the silver production, bears dramatic witness to historic land-uses of outstanding universal value"
  • Kernavë Archeological Site
  • Kuk: The property is nominated as both an evolving cultural landscape and a relict one. ICOMOS considers that its outstanding universal value is associated with archaeological evidence and hence it is appropriate to consider this a relict landscape (AB ev)
  • Lopé-Okanda: The offical title is "Ecosytem and relict cultural landscape of .."
  • Mapungubwe: Nominated as both Relict and Associative Cultural Landscape by the State Party, recognized als Relict only by entering it under cultural criteria ii, iii, iv and v Link
  • Pergamon
  • Rock Islands
  • Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
  • Røros: AB eval "Femundshytta is a largely relict landscape which includes the industrial cultural landscape with the remains of a smelter, water management systems, and the community that grew up around them"
  • Saloum Delta
  • St. Kilda: AB eval "In terms of Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention this is an organically evolved relict cultural landscape"
  • Sulaiman-Too: "For more than a millennium and a half Sulaiman-Too was a beacon for travellers along the Silk Roads and has been revered as a sacred mountain.......Most of the nominated property is a relict landscape little used, although the first peak with some caves, and the lower parts of the southern slopes of the second and third peaks, are ritual sites frequented by pilgrims and tourists." (AB).
  • Tamgaly
  • Tauric Chersonese: ICOMOS considers that Tauric Chersonese and its chora represents a relict agricultural landscape with a vast and at locations well-preserved land allotment system, which remains legible despite later changes in land use. (AB ev)
  • Thingvellir: The park landscape is therefore a relict cultural landscape, providing ample evidence for the way the landscape was husbanded over the past 1000 years (AB ev)
  • Yagul and Mitla


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Relict Cultural Landscapes?

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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source