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African cities

 
Author Assif
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 17 Dec 2015 14:37 | Edited by: Assif 
African cities (10)
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/categories/category21.html

Agadez
Aksum
Ksour of Mauritania
Djenne
Ghadames
Harar
Koutammakou
Ait ben Haddou
Lamu
Timbuktu

Author Assif
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 17 Dec 2015 14:45 
Agadez, Djenne and Timbuktu are similar in style. From these I would pick Timbuktu for its historic significance.
I would take both Aksum and Harar to represent the horn of africa. Aksum as a Christian city, Harar as a Muslim one.
Lamu should represent Swahili culture. Both Ghadames and Koutammakou are very special in their vernacular style, I would like to have them both.
Finally am not sure if I would like to choose between the somewhat similar Ait ben Haddou in the Atlas and the Mauritanian ksour. The Mauritanian ones are perhaps the more representative ones for West African coastal cultures, but Ait ben Haddou is more impressive. Maybe both.
I don't feel bad at all for backing 8 out of 10 sites in this category as it is so strongly underrepresented and the sites are great.

Author clyde
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 19 Dec 2015 11:26 
My selection :

Aksum (one of the best cultural sites in the Horn of Africa)
Djenne (iconic and unique African cultural site)
Ait Ben Haddou (great example of Bedouin village/"city" in Northern Africa)
Timbuktu (iconic and one of the best African cultural sites)

Author kkanekahn
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 19 Dec 2015 12:29 | Edited by: kkanekahn 
Selection

Timbuktu
Djenne
Koutammakou
Ait Ben Haddou

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 19 Dec 2015 12:29 
Djenne (Better representational site than Timbuktu and more iconic)
Ait Ben Haddou (Stunning Earthen Architecture)
Ghadames ("the pearl of the desert", unique functions based on levels/terraces)

Author elsslots
Admin
#6 | Posted: 19 Dec 2015 12:52 
For me:

- Aksum: for the important pre-Islamic Aksumite Empire, and its remarkable stealae
- Djenné: for its huge earthen mosque
- Ksar of Ait-Ben Haddou: iconic and quite well-preserved communal Maghreb housing
- Timbuktu: representing a formerly important Saharan commercial and Islamic centre

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 19 Dec 2015 15:17 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I have grouped together 5 Saharan, Pre-Saharan, Sub-Saharan, Sahel Towns which all seem to offer fairly similar things. How to differentiate? Some of them are not well known. Is it our lack of knowledge which is undervaluing their individual contributions or do we really only need 1 or 2 of them? If these were in S Europe scattered across Italy, France and Spain we might well be concluding that each of them adds something valuable!!
-Agadez - I have just read the AB evaluation - particularly the comparative analysis which brings into play the following 4 sites as well - whilst of course deciding that Agadez has its own OUV!. Street pattern, mud brick and mosques etc.
-Ghadames. "a remarkable domestic architectural style distinguishes Ghadames as a unique site among a series of preSaharan cities and settlements stretching along the northern edge of the desert from Libya to Mauritania"
-Timbuktu - Have been there. I have to say that a lot of what is there within the inscribed area (even before the recent destruction by Ansar Dine) is pretty grotty and unauthentic. It has the "urban layout", the Rene Caillie house and the main mosque (which could be said to duplicate/be duplicated by that at Djenne). We don't have an AB eval
-Ksour of Mauritania - Have been to 2 of them. ICOMOS emphasises the "stone" as against construction in Mud or brick elsewhere
-Ait ben Haddou - Haven't counted it though I am sure I was there in 1968!! Earthern fortress town and quite "iconic"
I just don't know! Can anyone else help to differentiate and "value" them?

-Djenne - Have been there. The Mosque is Iconic despite only dating back to 1907 in its current general form (of course as a mud structure it undergoes annual repair). The inscribed area also includes Djenne-daro (which Wiki calls "the best known archaeological site in sub-Saharan Africa") covering the period 250BC -900AD . For these 2 aspects - in my view a definite YES

-Aksum. Have been there. A definite YES - as Els states

-Harar - Have been there. I must say that the reality was somewhat less than the "historic legend". The 2006 AB sates "ICOMOS considers that Harar Jugol represents an inland urban settlement with a distinct architectural character and social organization, which cannot be compared to any other town in East Africa. As the commercial centre of trade with the interior, as well as a centre for the propagation of Islam, the town has
exercised tremendous historic influence and represents together with Axum, Gondar and Lalibella the main stages in Ethiopia's history." Well, we can't hope to cover all stages of Ethiopian history in our selections. I really don't think it is oustanding enough on any factor to be given anything other than a "NO"

-Koutammakou -Have been there. It shouldn't really be included in a category for "Urban Landscape" - the location of the Takienta houses is very rural. It DOES in my view justify inclusion under the Cultrual Landscape category. So - YES

-Lamu - We need at least one "Swahili" port from the East African coast. Lamu, Island of Mozambique, Kilwa Kisiwani and Stonetown. Zanzibar are the 4 contenders I guess. So I look up the Lamu AB eva of 2001l "Compared with Zanzibar, Lamu presents some similarities due to similar influences, but also many differences". Well that's clear then!! The final conclusion is "..the town has also best preserved its particular Swahili character, and represents an excellent complement to the sites on the World Heritage List." Is that really enough v the alternatives?

Author fr4nc1sc4
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 20 Dec 2015 21:12 
my selection:

Timbuktu

Author elsslots
Admin
#9 | Posted: 21 Dec 2015 01:39 | Edited by: elsslots 
Summarizing this one:

Agadez
Aksum - for the important pre-Islamic Aksumite Empire, and its remarkable stelae
Ksour of Mauritania
Djenne - for its mud mosque & the best known archaeological site in sub-Saharan Africa
Ghadames - "the pearl of the desert", unique functions based on levels/terraces
Harar
Koutammakou - vernacular architecture in a rural environment
Ksar of Ait ben Haddou - Stunning Earthen Architecture
Lamu - might represent Swahili culture, but there are others
Timbuktu - for its historic significance

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 African cities

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