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review 2016-09-23 02:32
The Newark Earthworks - Lindsay Jones & Richard D. Shiels, eds.
The Newark Earthworks: Enduring Monuments, Contested Meanings (Studies in Religion and Culture) - Lindsay Jones,Richard D. Shiels

Those of you who read my posts at my regular blog, hearth/myth, know that I've become a teensy bit obsessed with the Newark Earthworks. This complex of earthen mounds and ditches in central Ohio was built by Native Americans 2,000 years ago. Archaeologists today call the builders the Hopewell culture, and suspect they died out after contracting diseases brought to North America by Europeans without ever having come in direct contact with a white man.

The Newark Earthworks, together with other Hopewell culture earthworks nearby, have been added to the short list for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The editors of this volume, Jones and Shiels, were among a group of archaeologists, historians, cartographers, experts on Native American cultures, and other scholars who gathered in 2006 for the founding of the Newark Earthworks Center at Ohio State University. The members of this group realized that no one had produced a comprehensive book explaining why these earthworks needed the World Heritage designation. This collection of fifteen essays, published this past spring, is meant to be that book.

Some of the essays are kind of dry, as scholarly works can be. But in all, they paint a picture of a remarkable achievement by a supposedly primitive culture. The complex includes two large circles, each nearly 1,200 feet in diameter, and a square and an octagon of similar size -- all joined by wide "roads" delineated by earthen banks. Each structure was placed deliberately to provide sight lines for various celestial events, including a moonrise position that happens only every 18.6 years.

What is also remarkable is how the structures have been preserved over the centuries, even through public use of the land for everything from a county fairgrounds to a military encampment. (Today, the Octagon is part of a country club's golf course.) And the site, which was built as a ceremonial center, is experiencing a resurgence in interest -- not just from scholars, but also from today's Native Americans, including the Shawnee, who called the area home after the Hopewell culture had died out and before their own tribe was force-marched to Oklahoma in the 1800s.

I learned a lot from reading The Newark Earthworks, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the Hopewell culture, ancient structures, or World Heritage sites.

Source: www.rursdayreads.com/2016/09/the-newark-earthworks-enduring.html
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url 2015-07-06 23:33
The Telegraph: Unesco's new World Heritage Sites - 2015

This year's additions to the list of Unesco World Heritage sites, from Edinburgh's Forth Bridge to a pie factory in Uruguay.

 

 

Ephesus, Turkey


What Unesco says: "Located within what was once the estuary of the River Kaystros, Ephesus comprises successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations, which followed the coastline as it retreated westward. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. Little remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World,” which drew pilgrims from all around the Mediterranean. Since the 5th century, the House of the Virgin Mary, a domed cruciform chapel seven kilometres from Ephesus, became a major place of Christian pilgrimage. The Ancient City of Ephesus is an outstanding example of a Roman port city, with sea channel and harbour basin."

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/artsandculture/11720162/Unescos-new-World-Heritage-Sites.html
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review 2013-06-03 00:00
World Heritage Sites: A Complete Guide t... World Heritage Sites: A Complete Guide to 936 UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Firefly Books Okay, amazing isn't the right word. Nice guide to the World Heritage sites with pictures (stunning ones) for most of them. Infromation includes not only location but reasons for inclusion.I will say North America (in particular Canada and US) seems greatly unrepresented while there does not seem to be anything in Italy or France that isn't a Heritage site.Best to read in fits and bursts.
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review 2010-08-01 00:00
World Heritage Sites: A Complete Guide to 878 UNESCO World Heritage Sites - UNESCO World Heritage Sites is a great book for both basic reference and discovery. From each page there are amazing photographs of places most of us can only dream of seeing, pieces of world history. The information given for each location is good and it gives a starting point in which you can then go out and research about more specific locals and details. Excellent for the day dreaming explorer in me I can't get enough of flipping through these pages.
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