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World Heritage Site

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Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains

Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains

Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains is a range of small mountains best known for having some of the oldest exposed rocks on Earth.

The rocks are estimated to be between 3.2 and 3.6 billion years old, dating from the Paleoarchean. Scientists have also found evidence of the largest terrestrial meteor impact event to date near the area.

Map of Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains


  • Natural

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Site Info

Full name: Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains

Unesco ID: 1575

Inscribed: 2018

Type: Natural

Criteria: 8  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2018 - Advisory Body overruled IUCN advised Referral
  • 2018 - Inscribed 


The site has 1 locations.

  • Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains


The site has 7 connections.


  • Meteorite impact: meteorite-impact fallback breccias dating to just after the end of The Great Bombardment (4.6 to 3.8 billion years ago) (AB ev)


Human Activity

  • Gold production: Barberton was established during the 1884 Barberton Gold Rush, and gold has been mined in Barberton nearly continuously since that time (AB ev)


  • Archean: the best-preserved, thick and diverse succession of volcanic and sedimentary rocks dating back 3.6 to 3.25 billion years to the early part of the Archean Eon (AB ev)


  • Named after individual people: "The town was named after Graham Hoare Barber (1835-1888) who discovered a rich gold-bearing reef there in 1884" - Wiki

World Heritage Process


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