The United Nations Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meets each year to choose the latest additions to its World Heritage List.
This week, the World Heritage Committee made its new choices during a meeting in Krakow, Poland. The group chooses World Heritage locations based on historical and cultural importance, as well as their natural beauty.
We’ve put together a list of 10 of the new World Heritage sites from across the world.
The ancient city of Yazd, in central Iran, is one of the world’s largest cities of adobe building construction. UNESCO said Yazd is a good example of a desert city using limited resources to survive for thousands of years. The city managed to escape the kind of modernization that has destroyed many similar traditional towns.
Located in southwestern Turkey, Aphrodisias is known as the city of Aphrodite – the Greek goddess of love. It served as the capital of the ancient Roman province of Caria. The city is known for its many works of sculpture and rich sources of marble.
Asmara is the capital of Eritrea, in northeast Africa. UNESCO called Asmara an unusual example of “early modernist urbanism" in early 20th century Africa.
Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site is an old stone wharf built for the landing of African slaves in South America beginning in 1811. UNESCO calls the site “the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent.”
Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura – Germany
Ancient caves in southwestern Germany’s Swabian Jura date back to the Ice Age. Ancient instruments and carvings made from mammoth ivory were discovered in the caves. Also, a 40,000-year-old figure was discovered that historians say is the oldest known image of a human.
English Lake District – United Kingdom
The English Lake District is located in a mountainous area in northwest England. Deep valleys formed by glaciers in the Ice Age were largely shaped by agricultural activities. Nature and humans created a harmonious combination of mountains and water, UNESCO said.
Taputapuatea – French Polynesia
Taputapuatea, in French Polynesia, is on an island in the South Pacific. It contains a former religious center made up of stone buildings dating back 1,000 years. The island is full of green plant life and stone formations, surrounded by beautiful blue waters.
Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia
In the Khmer language, the name of this ancient temple site in central Cambodia means “the temple in the richness of the forest.” UNESCO describes some elements as “true masterpieces.”
Los Alerces National Park, Argentina
Los Alerces National Park is in the Andes Mountains in southwestern Argentina. Glacial activity over time has created spectacular landscapes and clear water lakes. UNESCO said the area includes protected parts of the Patagonian Forest left in “an almost pristine state.”
Landscapes of Dauria – Mongolia and Russian Federation
The Landscapes of Dauria are shared between Mongolia and Russia. The area serves as an example of an extreme dry and wet climate creating a wide variety of animals and ecosystems. This produces many different rare and threatened life forms.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
And I'm Jill Robbins.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on information from UNESCO, the Associated Press and Reuters. Hai Do was the editor.
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Words in This Story
marble – n. kind of stone often used in buildings and statues
urbanism – n. development and planning of cities
wharf – n. area next to a sea or river where goods arrive from ships
trace – n. the way something has developed over time
carving – n. a carved object usually made of wood
glacier – n. large areas of ice formed from falling snow and building up over the years
harmonious – adj. peaceful or pleasant
masterpiece – n. great work of art, such as a book, painting, piece of music, etc.
pristine – adj. in perfect condition
ecosystem – n. everything that exists in a particular environment