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The list continues to grow as do the length of names of sites. Pergamon should stand by its name, not be cheapened with the qualifier “…and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape.” And who came up with “Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves.” Wait, you mean there are caves involved?
The new sites are:
- Qhapaq Nan, Andean Road System (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru)
- Okavango Delta (Bostwana)
- Grand Canal (China)
- Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquís (Costa Rica)
- Stevns Klint (Denmark)
- Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche (France)
- Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey (Germany)
- Great Himalayan National Park (India)
- Rani-ki-Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (India)
- Shahr-I Sokhta (Iran)
- Erbil Citadel (Iraq)
- Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves (Israel)
- Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont (Italy)
- Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites (Japan)
- Silk Roads: The Routes Network of Chang’an-Tian-shan Corridor (Kyrgyzstan, China and Kazakhstan)
- Pyu Ancient Cities (Myanmar)
- Van Nellefabriek (Netherlands)
- Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Philippines)
- Namhansanseong (Republic of Korea)
- Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex (Russian Federation)
- Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah (Saudi Arabia)
- Bursa and Cumalikizik: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey)
- Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape (Turkey)
- Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (United States of America)
- Trang An Landscape Complex (Viet Nam)
I have only been to a few of these, Crand Canal, Erbil Citadel, and Historic Jeddah come to mind. Others, in a trend that I do not applaud, are wide-sweeping geographic areas that I have probably visited parts, like the multi-country Qhapaq Nan and Silk Roads. These seem politically designed to let as many jurisdictions as possible claim status to attract tourist dollars rather than focus on the greatest examples of natural and human achievement.
Quibbles aside, the list is a fun and useful tool in my trip planning. The chase for many has taken me on adventures grand and small, producing great journeys even when the prize at the end is a hole in the ground or another “Historic Centre” (there are 54).