News ID: 155013
Published: 0642 GMT July 15, 2016

Ancient Iranian aqueducts listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Ancient Iranian aqueducts listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Iran's ancient aqueducts, known as 'Qanat', along with China's Zuojiang Huashan rock art cultural landscape and India's archeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara were registered in UNESCO's World Heritage List, the organization announced Friday.

The UN cultural body's World Heritage Committee also selected Micronesia's artificial islets of Nan Madol and simultaneously placed it on the List of World Heritage in Danger, AP reported.

Made of basalt and coral boulders, the 99 artificial islets of Nan Madol are home to ruins ranging from temple to tombs dating between AD 1200 and 1500.

Gathered in the Turkish city of Istanbul from July 10-20, the committee is reviewing 27 sites of special cultural or natural significance which have been nominated for the World Heritage List.

Previously, the dossiers of 11 ancient aqueducts were submitted to UNESCO for registration on World Heritage List, said Hadi Ahmadi, a senior official of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Speaking during a visit by Head of the Regional Environment Research Section and UNESCO Evaluator to Ebrahimabad Qanat of Arak Kazuya Yamauchi in September 2015, Ahmadi added that the aqueducts were identified in terms of antiquity, repair and type of preservation on the list of 36,000 aqueducts.

He said that UNESCO evaluator has inspected nine of the aqueducts, including Ebrahimabad Aqueduct in Arak, Markazi Province.

In another development, an ancient aqueduct system, which was once a part of a historical castle, was uncovered in Boroujerd in the western province of Lorestan during construction works, said an official with Lorestan Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department.

Hojjat Yar-Mohammadi further said that pottery crocks were used in this system to clean up and purify water.

An earlier report revealed the discovery of a historic water transfer system in Boroujerd.

Yar-Mohammadi said that the aqueduct system which includes a well-defined water distribution system used to be part of a historic castle. He further said that the discovered items have been documented, adding that a decision has yet to be made on whether the place should be kept intact or the historical items should be transferred for protection.

Aqueducts were first built 1000 BC by Persians and were used to extract groundwater in the dry mountain basins in modern Iran. Known as one of the most sophisticated systems of traditional irrigation, aqueducts provide 75 percent of water used in the country.

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