In July of 2008, the infamous list got a little bigger when the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to add three new sites to its heritage list. Spanning in different parts of the world, we will now see the following sites gain newfound protected recognition: a former slave hideout in Mauritius, the Nabataean archaeological site in Saudi Arabia, and the Fujian Tulou earthen houses in China.
Three New Heritage Sites Added to UNESCO List
When the archeological site at Al-Hijr joined the World Heritage List, it was making history. This civilization of the Nabataeans (located south of Petra in Jordan) is the largest conserved site and is the first of its kind recognized in Saudi Arabia.
Thanks to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Morne Cultural Landscape made the new list. This rugged mountain reaches out into the Indian Ocean in southwestern Mauritius. In the past, it serves as a shelter for runaway slaves throughout the 18th century, as well as during the early years of the 19th century.
As for the Fujian Tulou property that consists of 46 houses built between the 12th and 20th centuries , this World Heritage Site was once the residence of entire clans located in the southwest part of Fujian province, which is situated inland from the Taiwan Strait.
As of July of 2008, the three additions to UNESCO’s World Heritage List brings the tally up to 854 sites, which can be found in more than 140 countries scattered about the world.
Greek Mummy Found in Lead Coffin
Situated in a lead coffin, news traveled in August of 2008 that the mummy of a middle-aged woman dating back to Ancient Greek times had been discovered inside a marble sarcophagus. The significance of such a find sheds light on the embalming practices of the Greeks during a time where the Romans were in control. The discovery is considered quite unique, as a research team explores the different various resins, oils and spices used to embalm the body , all of which dated back to 300 AD.
The skeleton was well preserved, as the methods used actually partially preserved even some of the soft tissues of the body. Although brittle, thin, and wasting away , researchers will still be able to analyze the eyebrows, a muscle in the hand, as well as blood cells. Archeologists believe that the woman most likely belonged to a high social class, as she was wearing a purple silk cloth that had been embroidered in gold. At the time of her death, her bones suggest that she was between the age of 50 and 60 years old. To date, the mummy is now being held at the Archaeological Museum, which is located in Thessaloniki, Greece.