The UNESCO 40th World Heritage Committee meeting in Istanbul was interrupted by events outside. Before that they anointed 9 new World Heritage Sites:
- Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (People’s Republic of China)
- Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda, Bihar (India)
- The Persian Qanat (Islamic Republic of Iran)
- Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Federated States of Micronesia)
- Stećci – Medieval Tombstones Graveyards (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia)
- Archaeological Site of Philippi (Greece)
- Antequera Dolmens Site (Spain)
- Archaeological Site of Ani (Turkey)
- Gorham’s Cave Complex (United Kingdom)
This continues the trends of certain countries aggressively adding to their totals and geographically diffuse sites. Except one, these are marginal to most travelers.
The big highlight, and a shock not previously inscribed is Nan Madol on Pohnpei. It is the majestic archaeological site of Micronesia and one of my favorite Pacific islands. Manta rays patrol the waters and waterfalls course through the interior. If an island inspired Kong Island, this may be it.