Six sites located in Brazil, China, Mexico, France’s Reunion Island and the South Pacific nation of Kiribati won World Heritage status yesterday from a Unesco panel meeting in Brazil. The Unesco World Heritage Committee, in a 10-day meeting in Brasilia that will wrap up tomorrow, has already added or extended 17 other sites to its list, bringing the total number of sites around the world with the prestigious stamp to 910.
Mexico had two sites added to the list. The first, the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, or the Royal Inland Road, which was a route that runs from north of Mexico City into the United States, was used to transport silver from mines for 300 years from the 16th century. Unesco noted it “fostered the creation of social, cultural and religious links in particular between Spanish and Amerindian cultures”.
The second was a complex of prehistoric caves in the Central Valley of Oaxaca, some of which bear “archeological and rock-art evidence for the progress of nomadic hunter-gathers to incipient farmers”. One of the caves contained seeds and corn cob fragments dating back thousands of years that are thought to be the earliest evidence of domesticated plants on the continent.