The Unesco list of World Heritage sites now comprises more than 1000 sites in 161 countries. Twentsy-six new properties were added in 2014. The 1000th inscription on the List was the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The other new natural sites are: Stevns Klint (Denmark), Great Himalayan National Park (India) and Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Philippines).
The new cultural sites added in 2014 are: Qhapaq Nan, Andean Road System (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru), Grand Canal (China), Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquís (Costa Rica), Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche (France), Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey (Germany), Rani-ki-Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (India), Shahr-I Sokhta (Iran), Erbil Citadel (Iraq), Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves (Israel), the Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont (Italy), Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites (Japan), Silk Roads: The Routes Network of Chang’an-Tian-shan Corridor (Kyrgyzstan, China and Kazakhstan), Pyu Ancient Cities (Myanmar), Van Nellefabriek (Netherlands), Namhansanseong (Republic of Korea), Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex (Russian Federation), Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah (Saudi Arabia), Bursa and Cumalikizik: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape (Turkey), and Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (United States of America). Read more about these fascinating places on the Unesco World Heritage site.
Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche (France): Located in a limestone plateau of the Ardèche River in southern France, the cave property contains the earliest-known and best-preserved figurative drawings in the world, dating back as early as the Aurignacian period (30,000–32,000 BP). The cave had been closed off by a rock fall about 20,000 years BP and remained sealed until its discovery in 1994. Thus the cave is still in pristine condition. So far over 1,000 images have been inventoried. There are both anthropomorphic and animal motifs. Of exceptional quality, they demonstrate a range of techniques including the use of colour, combinations of paint and engraving, anatomical precision, three-dimensionality and movement. They include several dangerous animal species such as mammoth, bear, wildcat, rhino, bison and auroch, as well as prehistoric fauna and a variety of human footprints.
Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point gets its name from a nearby 19th-century plantation in the Lower Mississippi Valley. The site is on a slightly elevated and narrow landform. The complex is made up of five mounds, six concentric semi-elliptical ridges which are separated by shallow depressions and a central plaza. It was created and used for residential and ceremonial purposes by a hunter fisher-gatherers society between 3700 and 3100 BP. It has not yet been determined whether the complex was a steady residence or was a temporary campground occupied only during ceremonies or fairs. It is a remarkable achievement in earthen construction in North America.