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Two Mexican Sites Inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List
The Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Inland Royal Road) has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo: Eniac Martínez/INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- Mexico has 2 new sites inscribed in the World Heritage List issued by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Inland Royal Road) and the Prehistoric caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca were voted and declared in August 1st 2010 by members of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at the reunion celebrated in Brasilia, Brazil.

Inscription of Mexican candidatures presented by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in the world list was carried out during the 34th session of the Committee that takes place from July 25th to August 3rd in Brazil capital city. With these entries, Mexico counts on with 31 goods declared by UNESCO: 25 of them as Cultural Sites, 4 as Natural Sites and now 1 Cultural Route, ratifying its position as the Latin American country with more goods inscribed in the list.

The Mexican delegation present in the reunion of the committee that presented 2 of the 39 candidatures discussed by the World Heritage Committee is integrated by Dr. Francisco Lopez Morales, INAH World Heritage director; Lourdes Juarez, director of International Affairs for the Protected Areas Commission of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), and Bruno Rios, in charge of Multilateral Affairs of the Embassy of Brazil in Mexico.

Camino Real de Tierra Adentro was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in the category of Cultural Route, being the first Mexican good in such group. It is the earliest and most extended road in North America, with its 2,900 kilometers that parted from Mexico City and ended in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States.

The route was traced by Spanish conquerors to develop commerce, military campaigns, and support colonization and evangelization in the New Spain. It represents one of the most relevant cultural bridges that unite both nations.

The Camino Real de Tierra Adentro inscription covers sites in Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Queretaro, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, Estado de Mexico, Jalisco and Mexico City. Sites located in United States could be summed up later on through a candidature for extension of the good.

Promotion of this historical route goes back to 1994, with the first cultural cooperation agreements signed by Mexico and the United States through institutions such as INAH, the National Park Service, and the universities of Texas and New Mexico. It was decided then to work in the matter parting from academic and technical encounters.

The Prehistoric caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca were inscribed in the World Heritage List in the category of Cultural Landscape.

These spaces lodge the most important testimonies of the beginning of civilization in America; in the Guila Naquitz Cave were found Cucurbitaceae seeds 10,000 years old, the earliest domesticated plants’ rests known in the continent.

The transcendence of this site is only comparable to the first vestiges of wheat and barley domestication were found; Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, in Canada, and the Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes, Belgium, already inscribed in the list, as examples of places that testify development of culture.

UNESCO | National Institute of Anthropology and History | World Heritage List | "Camino Real de Tierra Adentro" | "The Prehistoric caves of Yagul and Mitla" |

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