I note the 5 Sep report in the "News" section of this Web site about the DNA analysis of the Denisova Neanderthal "Cave Girl"
But which WHS or TWHS does this refer to? I can't see anything suitable in Russia's T List so it must be in the "Golden Altai"?
The UNESCO Golden Altai dcoumentation doesn't mention Denisova as far as I can find (but of course the inscription is solely as a "Natural Site" so it might not be mentioned even if the cave were inside the nominated area). So next, I looked at where Denisova is situated. Wiki says of it - "Located in Altai Krai, at the border of the Altai Republic, the cave is near the village of Chorny Anui (Чёрный Ануй), and some 150 km south of Barnaul, the nearest major city."
The maps on the UNESCO web site are not wonderful but there is one titled "Location of Nominated clusters" ( http://whc.unesco.org/download.cfm?id_document=101363
). This shows that the 3 inscribed areas are situated right down in the far corner of the area where Russia meets Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. This is some distance (unspecified on the map which lacks a readable scale) to the SE of a town named Biysk and, right on the NW edge of the map is another town called Novoaltaylsk. Google maps tells me that Novoaltaysk is just east of Barnaul. Google maps also tells me that the distance from Biysk to the inscribed Ukok Plateau is 657kms. Biysk to Barnaul is 157kms. There seems no way that a cave situated "150kms south of Barnaul" can be inside the borders of Golden Altai which must be around 750kms from Barnaul (a bit less to Teletskoye lake but that is moving even further east from Bernaul).
Have I missed something?
The subject is of particular interest because UK is of course preparing Gorham's Cave in Gibraltar for nomination in 2015 for consideration at the 2016 WHC. As far as I am aware there are no Neanderthal sites currently inscribed and Gorham's Cave would, if successful be the first. But obviously not if Denisova had got there first!
I have had a look at the technical evaluation which led to the decision to go forward with the Gorham's cave nomination and this certainly indicates that the evaluating team didn't know of ANY Neanderthal sites on either the Inscribed or the Tentative Lists"There are currently no sites on the World Heritage List that are representative of the Neanderthals and their culture. It follows that there are none that incorporate the arrival of Modern Humans into a site previously occupied by the Neanderthals. With the exception of Cresswell Crags, a site on the United Kingdom Tentative List, there is currently no other site on any Tentative List published in the UNESCO web site, that is representative of the Neanderthals."