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Proposal for a UNESCO World Heritage inscription in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates)


At the instigation of the Arab States Unit of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris, Cynthia Dunning Thierstein has been invited by the Sharjah Archaeology Authority to visit the archaeological sites in the Mleiha region (Central Region of the Emirate) during the month of November 2015. The purpose of this visit was to determine whether the archaeological landscape proposed in the UNESCO Tentative List ""The Cultural Landscape of the Central Region in the Emirate of Sharjah" could be the subject of a nomination file. The global significance of this landscape is due to the presence of the only excavated Middle Palaeolithic site on the Arabian Peninsula, providing the only stratified evidence of the exit of anatomically modern humans from the African continent, and the continuity of occupation from the Neolithic to the pre-Islamic period. This wealth is explained by the geology of the region and the permanent presence of water in the middle of this semi-desert environment, the area being separated from the Arabian Sea by a sand desert and from the Arabian Sea by the important Hajar mountain range. The Sharjah Archaeology Authority furthermore asked if ArchaeoConcept could take charge of the preparation of the nomination dossier and management plan for "The Cultural Landscape of the Central Region in the Emirate of Sharjah".

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