Iranian Qanat Added to UNESCO Heritage List

Iranian Qanat Added to UNESCO Heritage ListIranian Qanat Added to UNESCO Heritage List

The UN’s cultural agency on Friday added four new sites in Iran, India, China and Micronesia to its World Heritage list.

The sites named by UNESCO include the the qanat water systems in Iran, the Zuojiang Huashan rock art cultural landscape in China and the archeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara in India. The fourth site is Nan Madol—a ceremonial center of eastern Micronesia in the Federated States of Micronesia containing medieval palaces and tombs, AFP reported.

Throughout the arid regions of Iran, agricultural and permanent settlements are supported by the ancient qanat system of tapping alluvial aquifers at the heads of valleys and conducting the water along underground tunnels by gravity, often over many kilometers, the agency said in a statement.

The 11 qanats representing this system include rest areas for workers, water reservoirs and watermills.

The traditional communal management system still in place allows equitable and sustainable water sharing and distribution.

The qanats provide exceptional testimony to cultural traditions and civilizations in desert areas with an arid climate.