People, Travel

Qanats Heading for UNESCO Registration

Qanats Heading for UNESCO RegistrationQanats Heading for UNESCO Registration

Following the inscription of the ancient city of Susa and the ancient Meymand Village on the UNESCO World Heritage List, 11 historical qanats in Iran, whose dossiers have been sent to UNESCO, are under assessment by experts before their review at the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee.  

Three of the 11 qanats are located in Kerman Province, according to Masoud Soltanifar, head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Mehr News Agency reported.

Meymand, which is also located in Kerman, received wolrd heritage status earlier in the week, during the World Heritage Committee’s 39th session in Bonn, Germany.

The ancient village of Meymand is Iran’s oldest surviving village, having been inhabited for nearly 3,000 years. It is the province’s third element on World Heritage List after Bam Citadel and Shazdeh Garden.

The inscription of the Susa and Meymand increased the number of world heritage site in Iran to 19. The country now has 39 sites on the UNESCO Tentative List.

Qanats are underground aqueducts first used by Persians c. 1000 BC. These structures were used to transfer water from aquifers in highlands to the surface at lower levels by gravity. Historians believe the  qanats of Iran were built on a scale that rivaled the great aqueducts of the Roman Empire.

World heritage sites are under the protection of UNESCO and other relevant international organizations, said the official, adding that it makes the site a center of attention of archeologists, experts and researchers. Essays, books and research reports will be published on the site as well.

Soltanifar said Iran aims to increase the number of chain inscriptions. In chain inscription, instead of one site or place, a series of sites are nominated for UNESCO-listed status.