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Shennongjia and Huashan Rock Paintings Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage

Published: Jul. 13, 2016

 According to the latest report, Shennongjia Nature Reserve and Huashan Rock Paintings have been approved as world heritages by the Committee.

At 10:00 am local time on July 10, 2016, the 40th session of World Heritage Convention was inaugurated in Istanbul, Turkey. According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 29 sites are nominated for the World Heritage this year, including two from China. One is Shennongjia Nature Reserve in Shiyan city, Hubei Province, and the other is the Rock Paintings of Mountain Huashan in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Shennongjia Nature Reserve is noted for its well-preserved ecosystem and excellent sceneries. Shennong is an emperor in remote ages. Jia means a ladder. It is said that Emperor Shennong once ascended the mountains here by a ladder to collect medicine herbs, hence its name. The place is best known for the story about wild man. Since ancient times, there have been records about trails of wild man found there, but the mystery is unresolved till today.

Huashan Rock Paintings along Zuo River are some dark red human drawings on a Cliffside, which can be traced back to as far as 2,000 years ago. People portrayed in the paintings all put up their hands and half squat. An expert says that the paintings reflect a scene of a worship ceremony by the Luoyue Tribe. The highest images were drawn over 200 feet (61 meters) above water. It’s hard to imagine how they were painted in the past, when tools were bad and limited.

During the 11 days of the session, the World Heritage Committee will not only review the 29 nominated sites but also assess the protection status of 108 world heritage sites and 48 endangered world heritage sites that have been included on the World Heritage List already.

Currently, there are 1,031 world heritage sites in total, including 802 cultural heritage sites, 197 natural heritage sites, and 32 sites of both cultural and natural importance.

As a time-honored country with various landscapes, 48 sites in China have already been approved as world heritages (see China World Cultural & Natural Heritage List). Among them, the most famous ones include the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Yellow Mountain and Mogao Caves.

The world natural and cultural heritages are passed down by our ancestors. Their significance should not be ignored. We should pay more attention to their protection and preservation and keep passing them down to our following generations!

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