three-hundred and thirty years after the 1692 earthquake and tsunami that
submerged Port Royal (give or take), another Caribbean shift triggered a
shock that shook the seabed, shaking loose clues as to the underwater city,
and burying others.
joined with UNESCO
to urge their roving conservationist, John Storm, to once again lend his
skills, and those of Hal,
the onboard AI, linked to the amazing instruments aboard the Elizabeth
Swann, to search for and survey the site, before any more happenings
might cause more loss.
his recent, 'Close Encounter' with the CIA, and having a royal guest
onboard, Dan, Hal and John agree to undertake what seems to be a routine
task. Unsurprisingly, with their adventurous guest, Cleopatra,
in full agreement.
TEN WORLD HERITAGE SITES
- ATHENS, ANCIENT GREEKS, PARTHENON, TEMPLE ATHENA NIKE
WAT - HINDU BUDDHIST TEMPLE RELIGIOUS COMPLEX, CAMBODIA
ITZA - ANCIENT MAYAN CITY, YUCATAN PENINSULA, MEXICO
- ROMAN HISTORIC CITY CENTRE, ROME, PANTHEON, ITALY
ISLAND - RAPA NUI, POLYNESIAN HEAD STATUES, PACIFIC OCEAN
WALL OF CHINA - 3RD CENTURY BC EMPEROR QIN SHI HUANG & MING DYNASTY
PICCHU - PYRAMID, PERU, INCAN LOST CITY, ANDES
- TREASURY, AL-KHAZNEH, SIQ GORGE, NABATAEANS, SOUTHERN JORDAN
- GREAT SPHINX, MEMPHIS NECROPOLIS, GIZA, EGYPT
MAHAL - MAUSOLEUM BUILT BY SHAH JAHAN, AGRA, INDIA
IS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE?
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain "cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity".
To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be a somehow unique landmark which is geographically and historically identifiable and has special cultural or physical significance. For example, World Heritage Sites might be ancient ruins or historical structures, buildings, cities, deserts, forests, islands, lakes, monuments, mountains, or wilderness areas. A World Heritage Site may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, and serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet, or it might be a place of great natural beauty. As of July 2021, a total of 1,154 World Heritage Sites (897 cultural, 218 natural, and 39 mixed properties) exist across 167 countries. With 58 selected areas, Italy is the country with the most sites on the list.
The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored, uncontrolled or unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones. The World Heritage Sites list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly. The programme catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. The programme began with the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage", which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since then, 194 states have ratified the convention, making it one of the most widely recognised international agreements and the world's most popular cultural programme.
OBJECTIVES AND POSITIVES
By assigning places as World Heritage Sites, UNESCO wants to help to pass them on to future generations. Its motivation is that
“heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today” and that both cultural and natural heritage are “irreplaceable sources of life and
UNESCO's mission with respect to World Heritage consists of eight sub targets. These include encouraging the commitment of countries and local population to World Heritage conservation in various ways, providing emergency assistance for sites in danger, offering technical assistance and professional training, and supporting States Parties' public awareness-building activities.
Being listed as a World Heritage Site can positively affect the site, its environment, and interactions between them. A listed site gains international recognition and legal protection, and can obtain funds from among others the World Heritage Fund to facilitate its conservation under certain conditions. UNESCO reckons the restorations of the following four sites among its success stories: Angkor in Cambodia, the Old City of Dubrovnik in Croatia, the Wieliczka Salt Mine near Kraków in Poland, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. Additionally, the local population around a site may benefit from significantly increased tourism revenue. When there are significant interactions between people and the natural environment, these can be recognised as "cultural landscapes".
WORLD HERITAGE NOMINATIONS
Only countries that have signed the World Heritage Convention, pledging to protect their natural and cultural heritage, can submit nomination proposals for properties on their territory to be considered for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
1 Tentative List
The first step a country must take is to make an ‘inventory' of its important natural and cultural heritage sites located within its boundaries. This ‘inventory' is known as the Tentative List, and provides a forecast of the properties that a State Party may decide to submit for inscription in the next five to ten years and which may be updated at any time. It is an important step since the World Heritage Committee cannot consider a nomination for inscription on the World Heritage List unless the property has already been included on the State Party's Tentative List.
2 The Nomination File
By preparing a Tentative List and selecting sites from it, a State Party can plan when to present a nomination file. The World Heritage Centre offers advice and assistance to the State Party in preparing this file, which needs to be as exhaustive as possible, making sure the necessary documentation and maps are included. The nomination is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review and to check it is complete. Once a nomination file is complete the World Heritage Centre sends it to the appropriate Advisory Bodies for evaluation.
3 The Advisory Bodies
A nominated property is independently evaluated by two Advisory Bodies mandated by the World Heritage Convention: the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which respectively provide the World Heritage Committee with evaluations of the cultural and natural sites nominated. The third Advisory Body is the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), an intergovernmental organization which provides the Committee with expert advice on conservation of cultural sites, as well as on training activities.
4 The World Heritage Committee
Once a site has been nominated and evaluated, it is up to the intergovernmental World Heritage Committee to make the final decision on its inscription. Once a year, the Committee meets to decide which sites will be inscribed on the World Heritage List. It can also defer its decision and request further information on sites from the States Parties.
5 The Criteria for Selection
To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These criteria are explained in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the main working tool on World Heritage. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself.
Until the end of 2004, World Heritage sites were selected on the basis of six cultural and four natural criteria. With the adoption of the revised Operational Guidelines, only one set of ten criteria exists.
The nomination process is necessarily complex, and therefore, expensive for the country making the nomination. Meaning that some nations, for example those in debt, may avoid such cost to their administrations by simply ignoring their duty to record the ascent of human endeavour.
ARCHAEOLOGY EXCAVATION IN PORT ROYAL
Underwater explorations and excavations have been conducted in Port Royal over the years. Here is a listing of such excavations. After the 1692 earthquake, people tried to salvage anything considered to be valuable from the area, which became known as the Sunken City.
1859: Jeremiah Murphy a naval diver, using a diving bell located the remains of Fort James.
1956 - 1959: Edwin Link dug test pits in the King's Warehouse and Fort James.
Norman Scott explored Fort Carlisle.
1965 - 1968: Robert Marx excavated between twenty to thirty buildings in the Sunken City.
- 1970: Philip Mayes Excavation. Mayes was hired by the Jamaican National Trust Commission to continue research. Mayes is accredited with uncovering
St. Paul’s Church of Port Royal, the largest building of the 17th century city.
1981 - 1990: Institute of Nautical Archaeology of the Texas A&M
(Agricultural & Mechanical) University in close cooperation with the Archaeology Division excavated buildings near the intersection of Queen and High Street.