Recorded cultural discoveries

Cultural WHS that were not previously known and then 'discovered', although local populations may have known about them.

- discovered before 1970 (the later ones are in a separate connection, "recently discovered")
- name of discoverer and year must be given
- the discovery must relate to the WHS itself, not to a single property or smaller zone within the area

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Angkor Henry Mouhot (French) is credited with 'discovering' it in 1860 although many other Westerners had visited the site before him. He certainly popularised it in the West.
Arslantepe Mound The site has been known since the end of the 19th century. In 1895, David Hogarth published a bas-relief of a lion hunt from "Arslan Tepe" which had been discovered in May 1894 by an inhabitant of the neighboring village while he was looking for building stones. Three photographs of bas-reliefs discovered in Malatya (...) were sent to the Academy of Inscriptions in 1907 and were published in 1909. From 1930 to 1939, it was excavated by a French team led by Louis Joseph Delaporte, which mainly identifies neo-Hittite levels.
Ban Chiang In August 1966, by Steve Young, a political science student from the US who was living in the village for his thesis.
Borobudur H.C. Cornelius (Dutch) on a mission sponsored by Sir Thomas Raffles in 1814
Chinchorro Culture The Chinchorro type site is located in Arica, Chile; it was discovered by German archaeologist Max Uhle in the early 20th century. He excavated nearly a hundred individuals during the twenties.
Dholavira: A Harappan City "The site was discovered by Dr. Jagat Pati Joshi, former Director General of ASI, in 1968, during his exploration in the Kachchh district." (Nomination text, p. 37)
Göbekli Tepe The site was first noted in a survey conducted by Istanbul University and the University of Chicago in 1963 (wiki)
Hattusha 1834 Charles Texier
Himā Cultural area The area was explored by the Philby-Ryckmans-Lippen expedition of 1951 and published by E. Anati (1969–72). Its rich heritage of rock petroglyphs caught the attention of Saudi Arabia's Department of Antiquities only after 1976 when Jubba and other sites were investigated.
Machu Picchu Hiram J Bingham (American) 1911
Medina Azahara "With time the entire city was buried, not to be unearthed until 1911." Wiki
Moenjodaro Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay (Indian) 1922
Nemrut Dag excavated in 1881 by Charles Sester, a German engineer assessing transport routes for the Ottomans (wiki)
Nubian Monuments Abu Simbel: Belzoni, 1817
Petra Johann Ludwig Burkhardt (Swiss) 1812
Petroglyphs of the Lake Onega and the White Sea "K. Grevingk, a geologist from Saint Petersburg, and P. Shved, a teacher from Petrozavodsk, discovered rock engravings ("Olonec carvings") on the eastern shore of the Lake Onega in 1848." (Nomination file, p. 39)
Pompei 1738, Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre
Rapa Nui Jacob Roggeveen (Dutch) on Easter Sunday 1722
Sigiriya It wasn't until 1831 that the abandoned Sigiriya was discovered by British Army Major Jonathan Forbes.
Tassili n'Ajjer It is the rock art (engravings and paintings) that have made Tassili world famous as from 1933, the date of its discovery. (Unesco) Tassili was already well known by the early 20th century, but Western eyes were fully introduced due to a series of sketches made by French legionnaires, specifically Lieutenant Brenans during the 1930s. He brought with him French archaeologist Henri Lhote, who would later return during 1956 - 1957, 1959, 1962, and 1970. (Wikipedia)
Thracian tomb of Kazanlak "Discovered by accident on 19 April 1944 under a mound of soldiers digging trenches"
Troy Charles Maclaren (Scottish) 1822 established the area, Frank Calvert (English) 1850's-60's did early excavations , Charles Schliemann 1870's provided "proof"
Tsodilo "The rock art was first sketched and brought to Western attention in 1907 by Siegfried Passarge, a German geologist." Nom file
Uluru On 19 July 1873 William Gosse reached Uluru and gave it the name Ayers Rock.
Vézère Valley Lascaux - Marcel Ravidat ; September 12, 1940


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Recorded cultural discoveries?

Send it to me!

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