San Pablo Villa de Mitla

Registered Sector: 
Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca
Location and site: 

This property lies on the northern slopes of the Tlacolula valley in subtropical central Oaxaca and consists of two pre-Hispanic archaeological complexes and a series of pre-historic caves and rock shelters. Some of these shelters provide archaeological and rock-art evidence for the progress of nomadic hunter-gathers to incipient farmers. Ten thousand-year-old Cucurbitaceae seeds in one cave, Guilá Naquitz, are considered to be the earliest known evidence of domesticated plants in the continent, while corn cob fragments from the same cave are said to be the earliest documented evidence for the domestication of maize. The cultural landscape of the Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla demonstrates the link between man and nature that gave origin to the domestication of plants in North America, thus allowing the rise of Mesoamerican civilizations.

Historical Function: 
Agriculture
Administrative Status: 
City in the Oaxaca Province of Mexico
Historical Reference: 

The gradual shift from social groups based primarily on hunting to ones that were primarily based on settled agriculture took place in multiple areas at the same time across the Mesoamerican region. The property is an exceptional reflection of the evolution from hunter-gathering to more settled communities in this area of the Oaxaca valley.

Urban Morphology: 

The Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the central valley of Oaxaca is an extensive cultural landscape that includes caves and shelters, one of which, the Guilá Naquitz cave has provided extraordinarily well preserved botanical evidence of bottle gourds, beans and squash and the earliest known maize cobs, and two others, Cueva Blanca and Gheo Shih sites have provided evidence of Pleistocene animals and stone tools and the seasonal use of the abundant summer resources of fruit and small mammals.

Registration Criteria: 

Criterion (iii): The botanical evidence from Guilá Naquitz cave related to the domestication of other plants, squash, gourds and beans, linked with the archaeological evidence from Cueva Blanca and Gheo Shih, can together be seen to be an exceptional testimony to the evolution from hunter-gathering to more settled communities in this area of central America.

Yazd, Iran

Registered Sector: 
Historic City of Yazd
Location and site: 

The City of Yazd is located in the middle of the Iranian plateau, 270 km southeast of Isfahan, close to the Spice and Silk Roads. It bears living testimony to the use of limited resources for survival in the desert. Water is supplied to the city through a qanat system developed to draw underground water. The earthen architecture of Yazd has escaped the modernization that destroyed many traditional earthen towns, retaining its traditional districts, the qanat system, traditional houses, bazars, hammams, mosques, synagogues, Zoroastrian temples and the historic garden of Dolat-abad.

Historical Function: 
Commercial
Administrative Status: 
Capital of Yazd province
Historical Reference: 

The settlement in Yazd region dates back to pre-Islamic era but the historic city of Yazd, according to the evidences, was established after 10th century (4th century AH). The name of Yazd probably derives from the name of the Sassanid king Yazdegerd I. Yazd was definitely a Zoroastrianism center in Sassanid times. After the Arab conquest of Persia, many Zoroastrians migrated to the region of Yazd from neighboring provinces. By paying a levy, Yazd was allowed to remain Zoroastrian even after the conquest of Islam, but Islam gradually became the dominant religion.

Yazd, particularly after the 10th century (4th century AH), has a written and documented history. Since the 10th century, due to its key commercial and strategic location on the main trade routes (Silk road and Spice route), Yazd has become a famous and prosperous city on the edge of the Iranian Central Desert. Due to the multi-cultural identity and its location on the caravan routes linking India with the West, Yazd became an important commercial center, facilitating transfer of knowledge in a way that the impact of Yazd on the cities and towns around the desert and along the trade routes can be clearly seen. Taking advantage of this situation, the builders of Yazd have developed highly elaborated principles in the city building process at all levels, covering all relevant aspects from material selection and preparation to housing design and city planning.

Urban Morphology: 

The site consists of three separate zones, a large central zone and two smaller in the south and the northwest of the central zone.

The city of Yazd is the capital of Yazd Province. It is located 270 km to the southeast of Isfahan and 625 km to the south of Tehran within the central area of the Iranian Plateau, which is known as the desert part of the country with an altitude of 1200 m above sea level.

Yazd is one of the largest earthen cities in Iran and is mostly known to be the driest major city of the country, with an average annual rainfall of only 60 mm. It is also one of the hottest areas with summer temperatures frequently exceeding 40°C.

Registration Criteria: 

Criteria (iii) and (v).

Quito, Ecuador – Winning city of the 5th Edition of the Jean-Paul-L’Allier Prize for Heritage

Congratulations to the city of Quito, Ecuador, for its project Investment programs and projects for the rehabilitation of public space on private heritage property in the Historic Center winner of the Jean-Paul-L’Alllier Prize for Heritage, 2017 edition.