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Author Solivagant
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#1 | Posted: 15 Apr 2010 16:02 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Golden Age of India
I wouldn't claim to be an expert in Indian history but I would be interested to know how
Dambulla, Sigirya and Pashupatinath are connected with "Golden Age of India"?
As I understand it this refers to the period of the Gupta Empire (AD320-550). Another potential "golden Age" relates to the Chola period in the 10th/11th centuries - but we already have a "Chola" connection. None of the sites are within the areas which were part of the Gupta Empire so presumably the "connection" relates to cultural influence emanating from that empire? But I have had problems trying to establish even this somewhat softer connection - unless it refers to any hindu influence, however minor, during those years. Can whoever identifed the connection help with a fuller justification?

Gyeongju
I am somewhat surprised at the connection with "Tell" for this Korean site. There are certainly plenty of "Tumuli" at Gyeongju - but nothing that I know of (nor am able to discover in the comprehensive Nomination file) which could constitute a "Tell". An immeditate problem is that, strictly, a "tell" is a term relating to archaeological remains in the Middle/Near East - even exactly similar remains in e.g Turkey are given a different name. I guess that could be stretched a bit - but how far!!?? A full definition specifies "an earthen mound that results from the accumulation and subsequent erosion of material deposited by long human occupation. A tell mostly consists of architectural building materials containing a high proportion of stone, mudbrick, or loam as well as (to a minor extent) domestic refuse".
It is important therefore that "mounds" which were for burial or were dug/raised as defensive ramparts are not included (On that basis I am doubtful about Kernave also!)

When relatively esoteric connections are identified it is of general interest to have the basis for them identified as well - either a reference to the Nomination File (Hortobagy gets in as a "Tell" on this basis!), AB evaluation or other reasonably reliable source! This query is a genuine one made in that spirit to learn about the reality of the sites and avoid errors or uncertainty!

Author Assif
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#2 | Posted: 17 Apr 2010 23:23 
Re: Golden Age of India
It is true the Gupta Empire is considered the heart of what is referred to as the Golden Age of India, but as you say, Solivagant, it is not restricted to it alone, but refers to all Middle Kingdoms of that period. Nepal is certainly in, as it was a vasal state to the Gupta Empire and heavily influenced by its culture during that period. Sri Lanka is indeed more problematic as it retained its independence during most of this period (though not all) and pursued its own development path. Maybe it will indeed be more accurate to omit Dambulla and Sigirya from this connection.

Re: Tells vs Tumuli
I agree not only Middle Eastern sites merit being included under tells merely as the term was first defined there. A principled distinction as Solivagant suggests between tells and tumuli is indeed in place. Both Kernave and Gyeongju certainly fit the latter better than the first.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#3 | Posted: 18 Apr 2010 04:30 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Thanks Assif.
Some "follow" up on your above points which generally confirm the ins/outs as you suggest them!

Golden Age of India and Kathmandu
A few quotes re this period in Nepali History to help establish/refute any "Golden Age of India" Connection during C4th-6th
"By 200 AD, Buddhism had waned, and was replaced by Hinduism, brought by the Licchavis, who invaded from northern India and overthrew the last Kirati king. The Hindus also introduced the caste system (which still continues today) and ushered in a classical age of Nepalese art and architecture"
"Of course, the peace and affluence of the Gupta state, as described in accounts of Chandra Gupta II's time, could not have been possible without first unifying North India—a task begun by Chandra Gupta II's grandfather, Chandra Gupta I, who used similar tactics of marriage to integrate his conquests. Securing as a bride the daughter of the king of the ancient Lichavi clan, Chandra Gupta not only legitimated his rule by associating his new state with a primordial, time-tested power, but also locked "his grip on the river Ganga... that vital Gangetic artery, which carried the major flow of North Indian commerce"" This event appears to have been around 305AD
"The documented history of Nepal begins with the Changu Narayan temple inscription of King Manadeva I (C 464-505 A.D.) of the Lichavi dynasty"
So we seem to have Buddhist Nepal becoming "Hinduised" by the Licchavis starting around 250AD (which is pre Gupta/"Golden Age") But it subsequently became culturally/politically "linked to" the growing Gupta Empire via marriage, albeit remaining independent with its own dynasty of kings. It would of course be unlikely that a (partially) Hinduised state would not be influenced culturally by the larger entity to its South. Whether Nepal under the Licchavis justifies the epithet of "Vassal State to the Gupta Empire" however I am not sure! But the Gupta Golden Age did coincide with the commencement of documented Nepali history and a period of Hindu temple building in Kathmandu – both of which can be regarded as evidence of a significant "cultural transfer".
So what remains within the Kathmandu WHS which evidences "physically" this link to the "Golden Age of India? Well it would appear that the Changu Narayan Temple would provide the best evidence. Rather annoyingly since, despite having visited Kathmandu on 4 occasions, I have never made it to this site which is situated a few kms outside Bhaktapur – and it does sound well worth seeing (Next time perhaps)!! It is gazetted as a separate site in the 2006 revision of the hitherto undefined boundaries of the vaguely titled "Kathmandu Valley" which was inscribed as early as 1979. Because of fires etc the building we see today is 18th century but this link indicates the site's pivotal importance in the Hinduisation of the Valley by the Licchavis
http://www.spinybabbler.org/art_complex/display_art_complexes.php?id=changu_narayan.h tm
As regards Pashupatinath, the AB review states "The temple dates back to the Lichchhavi period, and it has been subject to renovations in the 17th and 19th centuries". However, it lacks the specific artistic/cultural remains of Changu Narayan. whose Sanscrit inscription would seem to provide the best "evidence" of cultural transfer from the "Golden Age of India" to the site.
So, I guess the close links between the Lichavis and Guptas, together with the cultural transfers of religion, architecture and language/script, justify the connection


Kernave Tells v Tumuli
I have also researched Kernave a bit to see if it justifies a connection with "Tumuli" (or even "Tell"!!) The site of course covers an enormous period of human history –"10 millenia" through to the Middle Ages. There seems little doubt that the main mounds/hills on which it is situated are natural and were chosen for their fortification purposes and for being above flooding/marshland.("Twelve thousand years ago a warm period began, floods engraved the hillsides, gullies were formed, and the newly formed hills later became mounds. Around 9500 to 8000 years ago, the first terrace over the flooded land near the Neris was formed, on which the first people settled"). But are there any Tumuli among the natural mounds and raised fortifications? The Nomination file mentions "New objects of cultural heritage have been found on the territory of the reserve and its buffer zone. E.g., the site of the ancient town of Kernave, settlement on the river Neris, barrows of Kernave, burial site of Kernave or Kriveikiškis," The site inventory lists "16.1.3. the site barrows in Kernavė, A 1458;" And "Barrows" = "Tumuli"!!

I also came across a few other "Connections" for the site!!
a. Sacred Forests/Groves
http://www.ceeol.com/aspx/getdocument.aspx?logid=5&id=725a6fb5-4a75-4a23-b531-30324b3 fb916

b. Petrosomatoglyph
See " 16.1.4. the stone with 'footmarks of the Christ, the Virgin Mary and the lamb', M 123;" in this link for Kernave http://www.kernave.org/rez_nuostatai_en.htm

c. Dubbed after another WHS
"and in1986 the ancient Pompeii of Lithuania was discovered"http://www.kernave.org/expo_en.htm (Refers to excavations of the Middle Age Town and presumably the covering of the site over time with peat rather than volcanic ash!)

Author winterkjm
Registered
#4 | Posted: 11 Jul 2011 02:37 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I was thinking about adding a connection for World heritage cultural sites that are primarily modern reconstructions with little or no "authentic" structures left. This is different than the replica connection that relates to visiting a replica in place of a off limits part of a WHS. Any suggestions? Perhaps some of the sites in Japan would fit this connection? What other sites might fit this criteria? I am interested in the sites that are the least authentic.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#5 | Posted: 11 Jul 2011 03:25 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Well most of Warsaw is reconstructed - also Intramuros in Manila.
But we could finish up replicating "damaged in WWII"
Similarly with "Damaged by fire" etc - the Tombs of the Buganda Kings will have been reconstructed after the fire - as was the Kinkaju-ji temple in Kyoto (though the fire was before inscription so we didn't "connect" it).
Also what is "authentic"?? Does it have to be the Original (or at least pretty "old" since many buildings have been reconstructed several times during history) stones/planks of wood/plaster? Compare a modern photo of Borabadur with ones of it in 19th century - it has been completely "resurfaced" - far more than by "anastylosis" (for which we have as a connection also).

Then there are the Violet-le-duc type reconstructions where the "reconstruction" itself is part of the interest (Carcassonne's walls for instance look nothing like they would have originally!!) - but 19th C is not "modern" enough? We would need a definition of the term

PS
There is also the kind of "reconstruction" done for tourists because otherwise there isn't much to see!! Strictly these don't claim to have OUV - I think of the structure at Anse aux Meadows. There is also a reconstruction at Birka http://www.raa.se/cms/en/places_to_visit/our_historical_sites/birka_the_viking_town/r econstructions.html

Another type of reconstruction is as at Chan Chan where an attempt has been made to reflect the assumed style but it cannot be claimed that the reconstruction re-creates what was there -indeed the Peruvians have run into trouble over it as did the Bolivians at Tiwanaku with their reconsturction of the Akapana pyramid which had to be stopped by UNESCO for lack of authenticity.

So there are a number of different categories of "reconstruction" along a line from "faithful in situ replicas to replace a fully known and documented building" (Koln Cathedral/Warsaw) through "botched attempts to reconstruct what was thought to be there" (but possibly no more botched than many reconstructions done many years ago which we now accept as "authentic"!) through to completely "fictional" structures created to demonstrate style/way of life etc to tourists!

Author winterkjm
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#6 | Posted: 11 Jul 2011 11:24 | Edited by: winterkjm 
After closer inspection, another connection about sites with either destoryed properties or replicas would not add a whole lot.

Author winterkjm
Registered
#7 | Posted: 21 Jul 2011 00:13 
Three or four days back I submitted a new connection, the "Three Kingdoms of Korea". since my internet connection was so-so at the time, I don't know if it went through. Or perhaps there is some other problem with the connection.

This connection included:

Gyeongju Historic Areas (Silla Dynasty) in South Korea
Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple (Silla Dynasty) in South Korea
Complex of Koguryeo Tombs (Goguryeo Dynasty) in North Korea
Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom (Goguryo Dynasty) in China

"The Three Kingdoms of Korea refer to the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which dominated the Korean peninsula and parts of Manchuria for much of the 1st millennium CE."

- wiki

For those not familiar with Korean history I thought this was a useful connection. There are also future potential sites that could be added to this connection. Those being the 2 Baekje dynasty sites that have been recently nominated by South Korea. If more information is needed I can provide more.

Author winterkjm
Registered
#8 | Posted: 21 Jul 2011 08:08 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I had a question with connection related with tombs. There are Mausolea, Tombs, Dynastic Burial Places, and Tumili. There are some WHS that may connect to 3 or all 4 of these connections. Should a site only be connected to one or two of these "tomb " connections, otherwise it seems excessive overlapping?

Gyeongju Historic Areas (Mausolea, Tombs, Dynastic Burial Places, and Tumili)
Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (Tombs, Dynastic Burial Places, and Tumili)
Complex of Koguryeo Tombs (Mausolea, Tombs, Dynastic Burial Places, Tumili)
Capitals and Ancient Cities of the Koguryeo Kingdom (Mausolea, Tombs, Dynastic Burial Places, Tumili)

Author winterkjm
Registered
#9 | Posted: 22 Jul 2011 03:46 | Edited by: winterkjm 
On further study I came to this conclusion

Gyeongu: Dynastic Burial Places, Tumili
Joseon Tombs: Dynastic Burial Places
Koguyeo Kingdom: Dynastic Burial Places, Tumili, Mausolea
Koguyeo Tombs: Dynastic Burial Places, Tumili

I felt only the Koguyeo Kingdom warranted the connection of Mausolea with its pyramid tombs and elaboate interiors.

While all four sites contain numerous "tombs", the tomb connection specifically states sites should be connected with individual people, or a small number of individuals. since these are dynastic tombs; they're tombs for the entire royal families.

The Joseon tombs are tumili as well, but more elaborate than most tumuli, but less so than a mausolea. Furthermore, the oldest and most representative examples are from the Three Kingdoms period.

I just made a couple additional suggestions for connections matching my logic stated above.

Summary of the origin of Korean tombs

"The dolmen, the oldest known tomb in the Korean Peninsula, was built from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. During the Three Kingdoms Period, construction principles were defined for tombs and it was the Silla Kingdom, in particular, that developed the tomb system unique to Korea: a wide hole in the ground, lined with wood, filled with stones and covered by earth (the mound)."

Part of the brief description of the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.

Author winterkjm
Registered
#10 | Posted: 8 Aug 2011 20:55 
What does anyone think about a connection on pagodas?

I was thinking 3 seperate connections:

Wooden Pagodas

Brick Pagodas

Stone Pagodas

Author Solivagant
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#11 | Posted: 9 Aug 2011 13:12 
We have Cathedrals and Mosques so why not "Pagodas" - But we don't have e.g "Churches" because so many sites would have at least 1. The "Mosques" connection was supposed to be for Special/Remarkable ones - but has perhaps been "stretched" a bit!

We should only choose an Architectural feature if it doesn't have a 1:1 relationship (or approaching one) with some other "Connection" we already have (E.g "Spires" wouldn't add a great deal just of itself unless qualified by some factor such as "higher than"). But perhaps there are a number of, particularly Eastern, features we haven't so far recognised for Connections - e.g "Stupa" ?

We have a "Chinoiserie" Connection already which has at least 4 "pagodas" outside the Far East - presumably a "Pagodas" Connection wouldn't duplicate these?

I guess a fair number of cultural sites in China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia are going to have a "multi storied tower" called a "Pagoda" in English - even if not in the country concerned. But whether it is worth having separate connections for Wood, Stone etc I am not sure - we already have a "Wooden Architecture" connection for instance. Perhaps depends on how many get identified. It could be interesting to record the number of stories/eaves as well?

Author winterkjm
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#12 | Posted: 9 Aug 2011 13:47 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I think your right, perhaps just a pagoda connection. There already is a "brick architecture" and "wooden architecture" connection. I think I will try to include stories, height, and date (perhaps dynasty/historic period).

Suprisingly, there are some amazing pagodas in China that are not WHS. Particularly, the pagodas in and around Xian, and the so called "Leaning tower of China" pagoda in Suzhou. ICOMOS recommended the Suzhou nomination to expand and include some of the city proper and its historical treasures, but so far China has no public plans for an extension.

Author elsslots
Admin
#13 | Posted: 10 Aug 2011 00:35 
I've added the Pagodas - with the addition "Pagodas included are remarkable because of age, height, design or historical importance."

Also a change on the new connection Highest Cultural WHS: I've pushed the limit it up to above 2,500 m, as there are too many between 2,000 and 2,500.

Author winterkjm
Registered
#14 | Posted: 10 Aug 2011 00:48 
Thanks for adding a basic requirement. Not too long after sending the connection I realized I forgot one! All the pagodas I added are somewhat famous for something, which you covered exactly with age, height, and design.

Author Assif
Registered
#15 | Posted: 10 Aug 2011 03:47 
Well done Els,
I found four more for the high cultural sites connection but between 2000 and 2500 so please ignore.

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