A megalith is a large stone, used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. The word megalithic describes structures made of such large stones without the use of mortar or concrete, representing periods of prehistory characterised by such constructions. For periods, the word monolith, with an overlapping meaning, is more to be used; the word megalith comes from the Ancient Greek μέγας and λίθος. Megalith denotes one or more rocks hewn in definite shapes for special purposes, it has been used to describe buildings built by people from many parts of the world living in many different periods. The term was first used in reference to Stonehenge by Algernon Herbert in 1849. A variety of large stones are seen as megaliths, with the most known megaliths not being tombs; the construction of these structures took place in the Neolithic period and continued into the Chalcolithic period and the Bronze Age. At a number of sites in eastern Turkey, large ceremonial complexes from the 9th millennium BC have been discovered.
They belong to the incipient phases of animal husbandry. Large circular structures involving carved. Although these structures are the most ancient megalithic structures known so far, it is not clear that any of the European megalithic traditions are derived from them. At Göbekli Tepe, four stone circles have been excavated from an estimated 20; some measure up to 30 metres across. As well as human figures, the stones carry a variety of carved reliefs depicting boars, lions, birds and scorpions. Dolmens and standing stones have been found in large areas of the Middle East starting at the Turkish border in the north of Syria close to Aleppo, southwards down to Yemen, they can be encountered in Lebanon, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The largest concentration can be found in southern Syria and along the Jordan Rift Valley, however they are being threatened with destruction, they date from the late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age. Megaliths have been found on Kharg Island and pirazmian in Iran, at Barda Balka in Iraq.
A semicircular arrangement of megaliths was found in Israel at Atlit Yam, a site, now under the sea. It is a early example, dating from the 7th millennium BC; the most concentrated occurrence of dolmens in particular is in a large area on both sides of the Jordan Rift Valley, with greater predominance on the eastern side. They occur first and foremost on the Golan Heights, the Hauran, in Jordan, which has the largest concentration of dolmen in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, only few dolmen have been identified so far in the Hejaz, they seem, however, to re-emerge in Yemen in small numbers, thus could indicate a continuous tradition related to those of Somalia and Ethiopia. The standing stone has a ancient tradition in the Middle East, dating back from Mesopotamian times. Although not always'megalithic' in the true sense, they occur throughout the Orient, can reach 5 metres or more in some cases; this phenomenon can be traced through many passages from the Old Testament, such as those related to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, who poured oil over a stone that he erected after his famous dream in which angels climbed to heaven.
Jacob is described as putting up stones at other occasions, whereas Moses erected twelve pillars symbolizing the tribes of Israel. The tradition of venerating stones continued in Nabatean times and is reflected in, e.g. the Islamic rituals surrounding the Kaaba and nearby pillars. Related phenomena, such as cupholes, rock-cut tombs and circles occur in the Middle East; the most common type of megalithic construction in Europe is the portal tomb – a chamber consisting of upright stones with one or more large flat capstones forming a roof. Many of these, though by no means all, contain human remains, but it is debatable whether use as burial sites was their primary function; the megalithic structures in the northwest of France are believed to be the oldest in Europe based on radiocarbon dating. Though known as dolmens, the term most accepted by archaeologists is portal tomb; however many local names exist, such as anta in Galicia and Portugal, stazzone in Sardinia, hunebed in the Netherlands, Hünengrab in Germany, dysse in Denmark, cromlech in Wales.
It is assumed that most portal tombs were covered by earthen mounds. The second-most-common tomb type is the passage grave, it consists of a square, circular, or cruciform chamber with a slabbed or corbelled roof, accessed by a long, straight passageway, with the whole structure covered by a circular mound of earth. Sometimes it is surrounded by an external stone kerb. Prominent examples include the sites of Brú na Bóinne and Carrowmore in Ireland, Maes Howe in Orkney, Gavrinis in France; the third tomb type is a diverse group known as gallery graves. These are axially arranged chambers placed under elongated mounds; the Irish court tombs, British long barrows, German Steinkisten belong to this group. Another type of megalithic monument, the single standing stone, or menhir as it is known in France, is common throughout Europe, where some 50,000 examples have been noted; some of these are thought to have an astronomical function as a foresight. In some areas and complex alignments of such stones exist, the largest known example being located at Carnac in Brittany, France.
In parts of Britain and Ireland a common type of megalithic construct
Maltese euro coins
Maltese euro coins feature three separate designs for the three series of coins. Malta has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004, is a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union. Malta adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2008. For a period of one month until 31 January, there was a dual circulation for Malta where the Euro and Maltese lira were used alongside each other. For images of the common side and a detailed description of the coins, see euro coins; the selection of the designs of the coins was decided by public consultation in two rounds. The first round of the consultation process started on 14 January 2006 and ended on 29 January 2006. During this period the Maltese public could participate in the process by choosing from a total of twelve options, divided into four design themes – Prehistoric Malta, Renaissance Malta, The Maltese Identity and The Maltese Archipelago. Three different options were presented for each theme; the results of the first round voting were The Baptism of Christ in St John’s Co-Cathedral, Malta’s Coat of Arms and Mnajdra Temple Altar.
Another design, The Fort St. Angelo option, received 2037 votes, but was not included as one of the three chosen options, since the Baptism of Christ received the most votes in that theme. Along with the visual design options, the public was given several alternative options, which were voted on in the same manner; the first and second most popular suggestions made by the public were the Maltese cross and Dun Karm on the Maltese euro coin set. The Steering Committee for the adoption of the euro decided to include the most popular suggestion, the Maltese Cross, with the three chosen by the public; these four finalists were sent to a designer and four designs were rendered for the second round of voting. During the second phase, running from 29 May until 9 June 2006, the public was asked to choose the actual designs for the euro coins from the four mock ups produced by the designer; the three designs with the highest number of votes would become the final design for the Maltese face of the euro coin set.
The results of the second round were Maltese cross, followed by the Coat of arms of Malta and the Mnajdra Temples. The Central Bank of Malta released the final designs of the euro coins on 19 February 2007. On 23 October 2007, the designs were published in the Official Journal of the European Union. 2008: France 2010-2015: Netherlands 2016-2018: France Malta joined the Eurozone in 2008 and they have minted several collectors' coins in silver and gold. Their face value range from 10 euro to 50 euro; this is done as a legacy of old national practice of minting gold and silver coins. These coins are not intended to be used as means of payment, so they do not circulate. EuroHOBBY Malta
The United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter, it is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. UNESCO has 11 associate members. Most of its field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences and communication/information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy and teacher-training programs, international science programs, the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity, translations of world literature, international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage and to preserve human rights, attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. UNESCO's aim is "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture and information". Other priorities of the organization include attaining quality Education For All and lifelong learning, addressing emerging social and ethical challenges, fostering cultural diversity, a culture of peace and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication; the broad goals and objectives of the international community—as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals —underpin all UNESCO strategies and activities. UNESCO and its mandate for international cooperation can be traced back to a League of Nations resolution on 21 September 1921, to elect a Commission to study feasibility; this new body, the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation was indeed created in 1922.
On 18 December 1925, the International Bureau of Education began work as a non-governmental organization in the service of international educational development. However, the onset of World War II interrupted the work of these predecessor organizations. After the signing of the Atlantic Charter and the Declaration of the United Nations, the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education began meetings in London which continued from 16 November 1942 to 5 December 1945. On 30 October 1943, the necessity for an international organization was expressed in the Moscow Declaration, agreed upon by China, the United Kingdom, the United States and the USSR; this was followed by the Dumbarton Oaks Conference proposals of 9 October 1944. Upon the proposal of CAME and in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held in San Francisco in April–June 1945, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization was convened in London 1–16 November 1945 with 44 governments represented.
The idea of UNESCO was developed by Rab Butler, the Minister of Education for the United Kingdom, who had a great deal of influence in its development. At the ECO/CONF, the Constitution of UNESCO was introduced and signed by 37 countries, a Preparatory Commission was established; the Preparatory Commission operated between 16 November 1945, 4 November 1946—the date when UNESCO's Constitution came into force with the deposit of the twentieth ratification by a member state. The first General Conference took place from 19 November to 10 December 1946, elected Dr. Julian Huxley to Director-General; the Constitution was amended in November 1954 when the General Conference resolved that members of the Executive Board would be representatives of the governments of the States of which they are nationals and would not, as before, act in their personal capacity. This change in governance distinguished UNESCO from its predecessor, the ICIC, in how member states would work together in the organization's fields of competence.
As member states worked together over time to realize UNESCO's mandate and historical factors have shaped the organization's operations in particular during the Cold War, the decolonization process, the dissolution of the USSR. Among the major achievements of the organization is its work against racism, for example through influential statements on race starting with a declaration of anthropologists and other scientists in 1950 and concluding with the 1978 Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice. In 1956, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from UNESCO saying that some of the organization's publications amounted to "interference" in the country's "racial problems." South Africa rejoined the organization in 1994 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. UNESCO's early work in the field of education included the pilot project on fundamental education in the Marbial Valley, started in 1947; this project was followed by expert missions to other countries, for example, a mission to Afghanistan in 1949.
In 1948, UNESCO recommended that Member States should make free primary education compulsory and universal. In 1990, the World Conference on Education for All, in Jomtien, launched a global movement to provide basic education for a
Megalithic Temples of Malta
The Megalithic Temples of Malta are several prehistoric temples, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, built during three distinct periods between 3600 BC and 700 BC on the island country of Malta. They had been claimed as the oldest free-standing structures on Earth until the discovery of Göbekli Tepe. Archaeologists believe that these megalithic complexes are the result of local innovations in a process of cultural evolution; this led to the building of several temples of the Ġgantija phase, culminating in the large Tarxien temple complex, which remained in use until 2500 BC. After this date, the temple-building culture disappeared; the Ġgantija temples were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. In 1992, the UNESCO Committee further extended the existing listing to include five other megalithic temple sites; these are Skorba Temples and Tarxien Temples. Nowadays, the sites are managed by Heritage Malta, while ownership of the surrounding lands varies from site to site. Apart from these, there are other megalithic temples in Malta which are not included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Many of the names used to refer to the different sites carry a link with the stones used for their building. The Maltese word for boulders, ` ħaġar', is common to Ta' Ħaġar Qim. While the former uses the word in conjunction with the marker of possession, the latter adds the word'Qim', either a form of the Maltese word for'worship', or an archaic form of the word meaning'standing'. Maltese folklore describes giants as having built the temples, which led to the name Ġgantija, meaning'Giants' tower'; the Maltese linguist Joseph Aquilina believed that Mnajdra was the diminutive of'mandra', meaning a plot of ground planted with cultivated trees. The Tarxien temples owe their name to the locality where they were found, as were the remains excavated at Skorba; the temples were the result of several phases of construction from 5000 to 2200 BC. There is evidence of human activity in the islands since the Early Neolithic Period; the dating and understanding of the various phases of activity in the temples is not easy.
The main problem found is that the sites themselves are evolutionary in nature, in that each successive temple brought with it further refinement to architectural development. Furthermore, in some cases Bronze Age peoples built their own sites over the Neolithic temples, thus adding an element of confusion to early researchers who did not have modern dating technology. Sir Temi Żammit, an eminent Maltese archaeologist of the late nineteenth century, had dated the Neolithic temples to 2800 BC and the Tarxien Bronze Age culture to 2000 BC; these dates were considered "considerably too high" by scholars, who proposed a reduction of half a millennium each. However, radiocarbon testing favoured. A theory that the temple art was connected with an Aegean-derived culture collapsed with this proof of the temples' elder origins; the development of the chronological phases, based on recalibrated radiocarbon dating, has split the period up to the Bronze Age in Malta into a number of phases. The first evidence of human habitation in the Neolithic occurred in the Għar Dalam phase, in c. 5000 BC.
The Temple period, from c. 4100 BC to 2500 BC, produced the most notable monumental remains. This period is split into five phases; the next three phases, starting from the Ġgantija phase, begins in c. 3600 BC, the last, the Tarxien phase, ends in c. 2500 BC. The Ġgantija phase is named after the Ġgantija site in Gozo, it represents an important development in the cultural evolution of neolithic man on the islands. To this date belong the earliest datable temples and the first two, if not three, of the stages of development in their ground plan: the lobed or kidney-shaped plan found in Mġarr east, the trefoil plan evident in Skorba and various minor sites, the five-apsed plan Ġgantija South, Tarxien East; the Saflieni phase constitutes a transitional phase between two major periods of development. Its name derives from the site of the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni; this period carried forward the same characteristics of the Ġgantija pottery shapes, but it introduces new biconical bowls. The Tarxien phase marks the peak of the temple civilisation.
This phase is named after the temple-complex at Tarxien, a couple of kilometres inland from the Grand Harbour. To it belong the last two stages in the development of the temple plan; the western temple at Ġgantija represents, along with other units in Tarxien, Ħaġar Qim and L-Imnajdra, the penultimate stage in development, that is, the introduction of a shallow niche instead of an apse at the far end of the temple. The final stage is testified in only one temple, the central unit at Tarxien, with its three symmetrical pairs of apses; the Temple culture reached its climax in this period, both in terms of the craftsmanship of pottery, as well as in sculptural decoration, both free-standing and in relief. Spiral reliefs resembling those at Tarxien once adorned the Ġgantija temples, but have faded to a level where they are only recognisable in a series of drawings made by the artist Charles de Brochtorff in 1829 after the temples' excavation; the Tarxien phase is characterised by a rich variety of pottery forms and
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. It is used for such buildings belonging to all faiths where a more specific term such as church, mosque or synagogue is not used in English; these include Hinduism and Jainism among religions with many modern followers, as well as other ancient religions such as Ancient Egyptian religion. The form and function of temples is thus variable, though they are considered by believers to be in some sense the "house" of one or more deities. Offerings of some sort are made to the deity, other rituals enacted, a special group of clergy maintain, operate the temple; the degree to which the whole population of believers can access the building varies significantly. Temples have a main building and a larger precinct, which may contain many other buildings, or may be a dome shaped structure, much like an igloo; the word comes from Ancient Rome, where a templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur.
It has the same root as the word "template", a plan in preparation of the building, marked out on the ground by the augur. Templa became associated with the dwelling places of a god or gods. Despite the specific set of meanings associated with the word, it has now become used to describe a house of worship for any number of religions and is used for time periods prior to the Romans; the temple-building tradition of Mesopotamia derived from the cults of gods and deities in the Mesopotamian religion. It spanned several civilizations; the most common temple architecture of Mesopotamia is the structure of sun-baked bricks called a Ziggurat, having the form of a terraced step pyramid with a flat upper terrace where the shrine or temple stood. Ancient Egyptian temples were meant as places for the deities to reside on earth. Indeed, the term the Egyptians most used to describe the temple building, ḥwt-nṯr, means "mansion of a god". A god's presence in the temple linked the human and divine realms and allowed humans to interact with the god through ritual.
These rituals, it was believed, sustained the god and allowed it to continue to play its proper role in nature. They were therefore a key part of the maintenance of maat, the ideal order of nature and of human society in Egyptian belief. Maintaining maat was the entire purpose of Egyptian religion, thus it was the purpose of a temple as well. Ancient Egyptian temples were of economic significance to Egyptian society; the temples stored and redistributed grain and came to own large portions of the nation's arable land. In addition, many of these Egyptian temples utilized the Tripartite Floor Plan in order to draw visitors to the center room. Though today we call most Greek religious buildings "temples," the ancient Greeks would have referred to a temenos, or sacred precinct, its sacredness connected with a holy grove, was more important than the building itself, as it contained the open air altar on which the sacrifices were made. The building which housed the cult statue in its naos was a rather simple structure, but by the middle of the 6th century BCE had become elaborate.
Greek temple architecture had a profound influence on ancient architectural traditions. The rituals that located and sited Roman temples were performed by an augur through the observation of the flight of birds or other natural phenomenon. Roman temples faced east or toward the rising sun, but the specifics of the orientation are not known today. In ancient Rome only the native deities of Roman mythology had a templum; the Romans referred to a holy place of a pagan religion as fanum. Medieval Latin writers sometimes used the word templum reserved for temples of the ancient Roman religion. In some cases it is hard to determine whether a temple was an outdoor shrine. For temple buildings of the Vikings, the Old Norse term hof is used. A Zoroastrian temple may be called a Dar-e-mehr and a Atashkadeh. A fire temple in Zoroastrianism is the place of worship for Zoroastrians. Zoroastrians revere fire in any form, their temples contains an eternal flame, with Atash Behram as the highest grade of all, as it combines 16 different types of fire gathered in elaborate rituals.
In the Zoroastrian religion, together with clean water, are agents of ritual purity. Clean, white "ash for the purification ceremonies is regarded as the basis of ritual life," which, "are the rites proper to the tending of a domestic fire, for the temple fire is that of the hearth fire raised to a new solemnity". Hindu temples are known by many different names, varying on region and language, including Alayam, Mandira, Gudi, Koil, Kovil, Déul, Devasthana, Deva Mandiraya and Devalaya. A Hindu temple is the seat and dwelling of Hindu gods, it is a structure designed to bring human gods together according to Hindu faith. Inside its Garbhagriha innermost sanctum, a Hindu temple contains a Hindu god's image. Hindu temples are magnificent with a rich history. There is evidence of use of sacred ground as far back as the Bronze Age and during the Indus Valley Civilization. Outside of the Indian subcontinent (India
Ġgantija is a megalithic temple complex from the Neolithic on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. The Ġgantija temples are the earliest of the Megalithic Temples of Malta; the Ġgantija temples are older than the pyramids of Egypt. Their makers erected the two Ġgantija temples during the Neolithic, which makes these temples more than 5500 years old and the world's second oldest existing manmade religious structures after Göbekli Tepe in present-day Turkey. Together with other similar structures, these have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Megalithic Temples of Malta; the temples are elements of a ceremonial site in a fertility rite. Researchers have found that the numerous figurines and statues found on site are associated with that cult. According to local Gozitan folklore, a giantess who ate nothing but broad beans and honey bore a child from a man of the common people. With the child hanging from her shoulder, she built these temples and used them as places of worship; the Ġgantija temples stand at the end of the Xagħra plateau.
This megalithic monument encompasses two temples and an incomplete third, of which only the facade was built before being abandoned. Like Mnajdra South, it faces the equinox sunrise, built side by side and enclosed within a boundary wall; the southerly one is the larger and older one, dating back to 3600 BC. It is better preserved; the plan of the temple incorporates five large apses, with traces of the plaster that once covered the irregular wall still clinging between the blocks. The temples are built with inner-facing blocks marking the shape; this was filled in with rubble. A series of semi-circular apses is connected with a central passage. Archaeologists believe that the apses were covered by roofing; the effort is a remarkable feat when considering the monuments were constructed when the wheel had not yet been introduced and no metal tools were available to the Maltese Islanders. Small, spherical stones have been discovered, they were used as ball bearings for the vehicles that transported the enormous stone blocks used for the temples.
The temple, like other megalithic sites in Malta, faces southeast. The southern temple rises to a height of 6 m. At the entrance sits a large stone block with a recess, which led to the hypothesis that this was a ritual ablution station for purification before worshippers entered the complex; the five apses contain various altars. Researchers have found animal bones on the site that suggest the space was used for animal sacrifice. Residents and travelers knew about the existence of the temple for a long time. In the late 18th-century, before any excavations were carried out, Jean-Pierre Houël drew a plan based on that knowledge, found to be accurate. In 1827 Col. John Otto Bayer, the Lieutenant Governor of Gozo, had the site cleared of debris; the soil and remains were lost without having been properly examined. German artist Brochtorff had painted a picture of the site within a year or two prior to the removal of the debris, so he made a record of the site before clearance. After the excavations were conducted in 1827, the ruins fell into decay.
The remains were included on the Antiquities List of 1925. The land was held until 1933, when the Government expropriated it for public benefit; the Museums Department conducted extensive archaeological work in 1933, 1936, 1949, 1956–57 and 1958–59. Its goal was to clear and research the ruins and their surroundings; the Ġgantija temples were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. In 1992, the Committee decided to expand the listing to include five other megalithic temples located across the islands of Malta and Gozo; the Ġgantija listing was renamed "the Megalithic Temples of Malta"The temple and the surrounding areas were restored or rehabilitated in the 2000s. Lightweight walkways were installed in the temple in 2011. A heritage park was developed and opened in 2013. Megalithic Temples of Malta Ħaġar Qim Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni List of megalithic sites Mnajdra Tarxien Temples National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands Heritage Malta's Ġgantija page Ġgantija Temple on Google Maps
World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the 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 and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list