Fri. Sep 17th, 2021

A 2,300-year-old solar observatory in Peru, a national park in Thailand near the border with Myanmar and an ancient Chinese trading center with a historic mosque, is one of the newest sites added to the UNESCO list of the world’s most are culturally important places.

Peru’s Chankillo Observatory, built before the rise of the Inca Empire, was declared a World Heritage Site on Tuesday, while Thailand’s sprawling Kaeng Krachan forest complex and Quanzhou’s old port in China were added on Sunday along with several others. cultural and natural sites around the world.

According to recent studies, the Chankillo Observatory has made remarkably accurate astronomical observations possible.

The walled ruins of a hill, about 400 kilometers north of Lima, have long astonished scientists.

In 2007, a study in the journal Science suggested that the towers erected between 200 and 300 BC were ‘the summer and winter solstice’ and that Chankillo was ‘partly an observatory’,

Peruvian archaeologist Ivan Ghezzi, who was conducting the study with British colleague Clive Ruggles, told AFP news agency that the towers “erected” with great precision “were placed to mark different positions of the sun” and therefore exact dates to mark “.

Their purpose was to determine the months, solstice, and equinoxes with astonishing accuracy — the planting and harvest seasons, and religious holidays.

The structure works like a giant clock, indicating the passage of time over a year.

‘Chankillo is a masterpiece of ancient Peruvian. A masterpiece of architecture, a masterpiece of technology and astronomy. This is the cradle of astronomy in America, “Ghezzi told AFP during a visit to the website.

Peru has 12 other sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, including the Inca fortress of Machu Picchu.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site naming ensures legal protection of a website as well as funding for its preservation, apart from increasing popularity among visitors. But it also increases the risk of excessive tourism and the failure of governments to preserve designated places.

A group of independent UN experts warned before the UNESCO designation of the Kaeng Krachan Forest Park that the Karen community in the area had been repeatedly subjected to forced evictions and arrests. [File: Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters]

“Great gift”

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa praised the UNESCO list of Kaeng Krachan forest, even though UN human rights experts have warned that Thai authorities are forcing indigenous Karen people to leave the area.

“We have received a great gift from the World Heritage Committee,” Kaeng said.

“We have worked hard over the last 16 years and four efforts have been made to name Kaeng Krachan as a World Heritage Site, and this was the fourth time we have succeeded.

A group of independent UN experts had already warned before the announcement that the Karen community living in the area had been repeatedly subjected to forced evictions and arrests.

More than 80 ethnic Karen have reportedly been arrested this year, 28 of whom have been criminally charged with “infringing” on their land in the park, including a child, according to last week’s statement by independent UN human rights experts.

The Karen community living in the forest resisted the efforts of the Thai authorities to relocate from what they say is their ancestor.

A Thai government spokesman did not respond to a request from Reuters for comment on the reports.

“The indigenous people who have lived there for more than 100 years do not have the rights on the land of their ancestors,” said Angkhana Neelapaijit, a former Thai human rights commissioner.

‘They are confronted by eviction to preserve the forest’.

‘Maritime sidewalk’

In China, UNESCO has also declared the ancient port of Quanzhou a protected site.

The Quanzhou complex has at least 22 historic sites and monuments across the coastal city, which according to state broadcaster CGTN is considered one of the largest and busiest ports in the ancient world.

Among the sites and temples in the Quanzhou complex are the Qingjing Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in China, as well as the Twin Stone Pagodas.

Quanzhou, also known as Zayton, is said to be the starting point of the old Maritime Sypad, which China revives if it expands its political and economic influence.

Other heritage sites announced on Sunday were the Kakatiya Rudreshwara Temple in India, the Trans-Iranian Railway in Iran and the Paseo del Prado Park and Buen Retiro in Spain.

On Monday, four islands in Japan, tidal flats in Korea and wetlands in Georgia were also one of the natural sites on the UNESCO list.

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