Archaeo-Astronomical Sites & Observatories

First International Expert Meeting - Elaboration of the implementation strategy of the World Heritage Centre Thematic Programme Project Proposal 


On 17 November, the elaboration of the new World Heritage Thematic Programme ‘Archaeo-Astronomical Sites and Observatories’, was officially announced by Anna Sidorenko, WHC, who is responsible for this Programme, in the presence of Magda Stavinschi, Director of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, and Regina Durighello of ICOMOS. Dr Christoforos Mallouris, astrophysicist, WHC consultant, presented an analysis of the archaeo-astronomical sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and tentative lists, carried out with support of the Government of the Netherlands.

Archaeo-Astronomical Sites and Observatories

It is the first programme at UNESCO to link the study of astronomy with cultural sites and monuments around the world which have been devoted to the explanation of the universe and humankind’s relationship to the sky. Some examples of archaeo- astronomical sites on the World Heritage List are: the Temple of the Sun in Teotihuacan (Mexico), the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru), Stonehenge (United Kingdom) and the Ulugh-Beg Observatory at Samarkand (Uzbekistan). This new programme is in line with the main objective of the Global Strategy adopted in 1994 by the World Heritage Committee to establish a representative and balanced World Heritage List which reflects the diversity of cultural and natural sites of outstanding universal value. An initial expert mission to Africa, where archeo-astronomical sites are not well-known, is in preparation.

1st International Expert Meeting World Heritage & Monuments of Astronomy

The First International Expert Meeting on the World Heritage Centre project "Archaeo-astronomical Sites and Observatories" will be held from 17–19 March 2004 in Venice, Italy, organised by UNESCO World Heritage Center in collaboration with UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in Europe(ROSTE), with the generous support of ROSTE, Netherlands Funds-in-Trust, UK Government - Department for International Development (DFID). The goal of the Meeting is to define the strategy of the thematic programme and a methodology which will aid States Parties in choosing archeo-astronomical sites and observatories. Sessions include in particular: Archaeoastronomy, Regional studies, Methodology of Site Identification for Serial and Individual Nominations Strategy, Introduction to the World Heritage Convention criteria, Science & Culture: a strategy of collaboration, Management Planning, Safeguarding and Site Promotion. For addition information on the event, check related webpage

Event Type Expert Meeting
Website (URL)
Start Date 17-03-2004 9:00 am
End Date 19-03-2004 6:00 am
Organizer WHC
Event Location Palazzo Zorzi, Venice, Italy

© 2004 - UNESCO