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Author elsslots
#31 | Posted: 6 Aug 2011 09:39 
Warsaw provides a case in point – we haven't dated it yet but will we call it 20C because it was rebuilt then or choose the period whose "style" has been maintained?

I have just chosen the 20th century because its OUV lies in the reconstruction effort and technique. If it hadn't been destroyed, it might never have become a WHS (or it might have, but for different reasons)


Author Solivagant
#32 | Posted: 6 Aug 2011 10:03 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Regarding Warsaw
On re-reading the Criteria on which it was inscribed (and for the first time truly imbibing their significance!) I don't have problems with that! There were of course 2 deferrals and many debates about whether it could/should be inscribed and the adopted "formula" smacks a bit as "sleight of hand" to overcome difficulties.
I note that the official title is "Historic Centre of Warsaw" - perhaps it should have been the "Rebuilt Historic Centre of Warsaw"!!!

Author Solivagant
#33 | Posted: 7 Aug 2011 09:02 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I have been spending some time trying to find evidence to help place the Sukur Landscape on our timeline - Difficult!!

Unlike the Dogon there doesn't appear to have been a period when the people migrated into this area

The AB file is rather vague!! - "Criterion v The cultural landscape of Sukur has survived unchanged for many centuries," !! quite a lot of what makes up an African Cultural landscape -huts, terraced fields for the local crops, water management etc are likely to have existed almost since time immemorial and are not by themselves particularly "unique"

However the Nom File does have few pointers and I also found an interesting (albeit LONG!) anthropological article about the Xidi's Palace.

This palace figures large in the AB evaluation
"The historic terraced landscape of Sukur, with the palace of its ruler on a hill dominating the villages below, its terraced fields and their sacred symbols, and the extensive remains of a former flourishing iron industry, is a remarkably intact physical expression of a society and its spiritual and material culture."

It seems to me therefore that 2 important elements of the Cultural Landscape are
a. The social organisation and Xidi with his palace
b. Iron making - both for the remains of manufacturing - Blast furnaces etc, but also for the infrastructure. For instance the paved paths mentioned in the Nomination and AB were, it appears, put there to help transport the iron.

Based on these 2 factors and info from the article I am plumping for 17C. What do you think?? I have chosen it as a "middle way" across the various "date-related" statements as quoted below to provide a period when both the Palace existed AND Iron making was definitely well in progress

"There is some limited evidence of Neolithic occupation of Sukur (1 Axe)... A pre-Sukur iron age phase is represented by numerous grinding stones, iron ore stones and abandoned furnaces. A later Iron age phase going back at least to the 17th Century is represented by the establishment of the current Dur Chiefly Dynasty and the development of Sukur as a major iron producing centre. Statement of Significance - Dating back to the 15th/16th and 17th Centuries Sukur Cultural landscape has continued to exhibit durability and sustainability of systems of land use..." (Nom File). This article places the date of the Sukur Xidi house as "unlikely to be earlier than 16C .. or later than 18th."

Author elsslots
#34 | Posted: 7 Aug 2011 09:25 

I would choose that too, also because of the nomination file.

Author Assif
#35 | Posted: 7 Aug 2011 16:23 
Another difficult one:
Saloum Delta. The AB evaluation is very vague. Anyone?

Author Solivagant
#36 | Posted: 8 Aug 2011 03:06 | Edited by: Solivagant 
It doesn't help not having a Nom file – it sure takes the WH Centre a long time to get the documents of newly inscribed sites onto its Web site! So we only have the AB review and any other Googled Web sources we can find – assuming that none of us is an expert in West African cultural history and has access to a library full of relevant papers.

The relevant AB comments seem to be
"In the Saloum Delta, carbon 14 dating of the shell mounds dates the oldest at up to 400 BC... The creation of tumuli on certain large shell mounds occurred later. It started in the 8th century AD and developed through to the 16th century. Various populations occupied the islands in the Saloum Delta one after another: Fulani, Tukulor and Serer in particular. The latter arrived in the 11th century from modern northern Senegal fleeing the Almoravid conquest. They erected large tumuli and they are still the dominant ethnic group in Saloum. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the islands were occupied by the Guelowars, who unified the local population under their leadership"

I have looked up "Saloum" and "Sine" on the Web and was led to "Serer" – the situation seems to have been that the Kingdoms of Sine and Saloum who occupied the Saloum delta at the time of the colonial arrival ("Their history and culture went hand-in-hand, hence the name Sine-Saloum" (Wiki) – the name of the natural region in which the Saloum Delta is situated) were comprised of Serer peoples. There is a long Wiki entry on the Serer people ( ) whose main use is to add a bit to the AB comment on the arrival of the Serer people in the area
"The (Serer) migration lasted from the 11th to the 13th century led them to the area of Sine, where they set up at once their territorial rules of management"

So, assuming there are no other sources of information available, how do we decide on a period? It seems to me that the cultural landscape requires BOTH shell middens AND tumuli since these are what characterise the "cultural landscape". These latter started being created in 8C but, we are told that, the Serer also erected "Large Tumuli". Lacking nothing better I would plump for an 11th century timeline based on the arrival of Serer people and their final comntribution to the area's cultural landscape jigsaw!

Author Assif
#37 | Posted: 8 Aug 2011 05:15 
Thanks Solivagant - so 4th BC and 11th.

Author Solivagant
#38 | Posted: 8 Aug 2011 05:31 
I personally wouldn't have bothered with 4th BC period as well on the basis that the Cultural landscape wasn't "complete" then in terms of the factors which give it OUV i.e both shell mounds AND tumuli.

I guess that, once we have been through all the sites ONCE and at least assigned a Time Line date to each we can go back and revisit how we handle multiple and extended periods. I accept that there is now no matter of principle involved in assigning more than one period to a site but we should ideally ensure a common approach across sites to adopting such an approach. It might be of interest to have look through what is "common" about those sites (around 10-20?) where we have done this to see how consistent we have been!

Again I wouldn't "die in a ditch" over it but feel that there must be many sites where we have been "hard" and only chosen 1 period which have a better (or even as good a) case as this one for having more than 1 period.

Author elsslots
#39 | Posted: 8 Aug 2011 10:59 
I just 'did' Syracuse, a difficult one also:

- It consists of 2 parts: the city of Syracuse and the Necropolis of Pantalica. Both have different dates of origins (8th versus 13th century B.C).

- But Syracuse wasn't only an important Ancient Greek city, its OUV lies in anything "From
the ancient Greek period to the Baroque" (and probably including the Romans in between)

Could this justify 3 or even more periods?

Author Solivagant
#40 | Posted: 8 Aug 2011 11:28 | Edited by: Solivagant 
We need to "think through" the guidelines for having multiple time periods to avoid opening the flood gates! We have 2 opposing pressures - the desire to be "accurate" and the desire to highlight "significance". The more accurate we are then, potentially, the more we lose clarity. I expect that there will be a more useful way through than we have allowed to date but am not yet quite sure how to achieve it.

I thought by the way that we had accepted that Vienna should have 3 timeline periods i.e.13C, 18C and 19C. I know that this means "consecutive centuries" but first part of 18C Baroque is quite well separated from 2nd half of 19C Ringstraßenstil. Did you leave out the Baroque advisedly or just because so much els(e) was going on?

"Paris Banks of Seine" must also surely have a 3rd entry for 12C to bring in the OUV of Notre Dame and the mediaeval aspects of Ile de la Cite? We must avoid granting extra periods just for the odd few buildings but try to identify where another period really is significant within a site.

I think the Syracuse example provides another useful guideline - if there are multiple locations each with clearly differing timeline periods then, all other things being equal (ie significant for OUV etc), then that tends to be a plus factor for recording an additional timeline period.

I remember a few years ago, when we first thought of looking at having time lines, one idea was to record the first date mentioned in the documentation - now we have had the experience of going through nearly every site once I fear that the result would have been hundreds of timelines starting at the "Neolithic" - but adding very little in so doing!

Author elsslots
#41 | Posted: 8 Aug 2011 12:12 
just because so much els(e) was going on?

yeah, I just forgot; I've added it now

I do agree with the multiple locations-"rule".

I also stumbled upon another case of consecutive centuries: the OUV of San Gimignano not only derives from its tower houses (late 13th century), but as much from its art and frescoes (14th and 15th century). In cases when the OUV has multiple aspects from differing periods, I would also go for 2 or more timeline entries.

Author Solivagant
#42 | Posted: 8 Aug 2011 12:22 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I don't disagree, BUT it could be a slippery slope - what happens when OUV derives from "continuous" habitation and development over (say) 800 years? OK the "different aspects" rule would come into play then. Yes lets give it a try and see what emerges!

Author Solivagant
#43 | Posted: 9 Aug 2011 04:43 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I am having problems with Al-Ain
a. there is as yet no Nom file
b. ICOMOS rejected ALL of the proposed OUV Criteria. Its view of the Nomination can be summarized in these AB paras "ICOMOS considers that the nominated elements form ensembles which are too disparate to be able to qualify the serial as having integrity. The landscapes associated with the seventeen components of the property are numerous, and of unequal meaning and integrity." And this one "ICOMOS considers that the justification of the property's value has been insufficiently demonstrated for several of the testimonies presented."
c. The UAE was obviously determined to prove that its Bronze Age sites and Falaj were better/older than those of Oman (for whom these 2 aspects were included in SEPARATE nominations) - "The two Omani properties are culturally very close: the first in terms of its habitat zone and necropolises from the 3rd millennium BC; and the second for its aflaj irrigation system. For the State Party, the nominated property has a more complete ensemble and spans a longer period as regards the funerary ensembles. Additionally, the Al Ain aflaj are considered older, and similar to the first irrigation systems of this type in the world" (AB)

Neverthless it got inscribed and the 3 documented criteria can be summarised in time line terms as
Crit v "The oases of Al Ain, with roots in the Bronze and Iron Age cultures of the place, represent this outstanding traditional and continuous human interaction with the arid desert environment,"
Crit iv "Hili represents the invention of the falaj system during the Iron Age period, signaled a significant leap from the Bronze Age small-scale agriculture based on irrigation from underground wells, to the Iron Age large scale irrigation system via water brought through channels from a distant aquifer."
Crit iii "The Cultural Sites of Al Ain trace the evolution of society in that part of the world from mobile hunter-gatherer groups of the Neolithic period (6th millennium to 4th millennium BC in Al Ain) with remains discovered alongside the eastern ridge of Jebel Hafit, to small- scale farming communities (3rd millennium BC Bronze Age communities)"

Among the 17 sites the main one seems to be that at Hili demonstrating both Bronze and Iron Age aspects

"Its occupation dates from the beginnings of the Bronze Age,... around 3000 BC, and continued through to the end of the Iron Age, around 300 BC. .. The oldest archaeological testimonies date from the Neolithic (8000 to 4000 BC). Nomads who raised goats and sheep occupied the Jebel Hafit region, attracted by the presence of springs. Finds, in the form of pottery shards, indicate ties with the pre-Uruk Mesopotamian culture in the 5th millennium BC. In the early Bronze Age, from the end of the 4th millennium BC, and the start of the early 3rd millennium, people started to become sedentary"
"In the early 1st millennium BC, a major technical development made it possible to alter the scale of human settlements in mountainous desert regions lacking underground water, such as Al Ain. This was the water collection system called aflaj ...... This period of innovation is characteristic of the Iron Age during the 1st millennium BC, forming a second high point for the region."

With regard to the Bronze Age – I see no real reason for placing the Al-Ain aspects as any earlier than those at Bat etc in Oman – i.e 3rd Mill BC based on Hili as the "type location"

With regard to the Iron Age ("falaj") aspects - ICOMOS wasn't totally convinced
"This criterion is justified by the State Party on the grounds that the Hili complex is one of the oldest irrigation systems using aflaj, if not the oldest. In particular, it proposes the invention of the falaj as early as the Iron Age," and "the property in
itself only partially illustrates their birth and early technical development."

All we have is a statement that the technical development occurred in the "Early 1st millennium BC". But we are dealing in "centuries" in the 1st mill BC – what "century" should be used for the Falaj aspect?? Wiki states "The qanat technology is known to have developed on the Iranian plateau and possibly also in the Arabian peninsula sometime in the early 1st millennium BC spread from there slowly west- and eastward."
I have, so far been able to find no more specific date - so
a. Do we leave it for the moment and only put a Bronze age date on Al-Ain
b. Do we plump for something like 900BC as being "early" in 1st Millenium?

Author Solivagant
#44 | Posted: 9 Aug 2011 06:57 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Al-Ain Iron Age Aflaj

Further to the above issue I found this
"In the Al Ain area, non-irrigation farming could not successfully be sustained at the end of the Bronze Age. This hindered economic development until the aflaj system was introduced in the Iron Age. ......
In 2005, Archaeologists found an ancient falaj underneath the courtyard of a house in the northern part of the Hili Archaeological Park, Al Ain, a few hundred metres to the east of dig site "Hili 17" and runs just to the north of dig site "Hili 14" and believe it was built some 3,000 years ago (Figure 4). It was discovered and excavated by the Department of Antiquities, Al Ain. Open channels, a sharia, a cut and cover section and a single shaft hole were uncovered. The large collection of pottery found associated with the open channels and the sharia belong to the Iron Age Period.
Another ancient falaj has been discovered west of Bida bint Saud (Figure 4). Several shaft holes and a subterranean tunnel were excavated at different spots. The most important was the discovery of the sharia, which, according to the local pottery found, is of Iron Age. An approximate date of 1000 BC was given to this falaj as well as to a near-by structure"

These comments "3000 years ago" and "approx date of 1000BC" would seem to support using 2nd mill BC for the Al Ain Iron age period

Author elsslots
#45 | Posted: 9 Aug 2011 08:01 
Can someone perform a second opinion on the Amalfi Coast?

I am totally lost between 9th, 11th and 13th century.
It's a brilliantly unclear AB evaluation

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