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Climate Change Threatens History – 90% of These World Heritage Sites Will be Lost Forever

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Climate change is a phenomenon that is currently posing a big threat to the environment. As it turns out it might actually destroy some of the cultural treasures we have. A recent study shows that by the end of this century, cultural treasures such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia and even the ancient metropolis at Carthage could be ruined by flooding and severe coastal erosion.

Source: https://www.dezeen.com

Of the 1092 cultural and natural wonders on the 2018 list of World Heritage sites, most are facing the threat of climate change. There has been very little research in the wake of this knowledge but a team of geographers is trying to remedy the situation. Lena Reimann, a geographer from Germany’s Kiel University led the team in assessing the threat flooding and erosion poses, as a result of the rising sea levels at 49 of the UNESCO heritage sites. The ones located in the Mediterranean were selected as they are believed to be facing the threat most. The sites specifically in the Mediterranean Low Elevation Coastal Zone were chosen for the research as they are just thirty feet above sea level. Among all of them, Italy has the greatest concentration sites with fifteen. After Italy,  follows Croatia, Greece and then Tunisia.

1. Medina of Tunis

Source: https://www.gounesco.com

The Medina contains seven hundred monuments. It is a fascinating site that contains palaces, mosques, madrasas, fountains among others dating from the Almohad and Hafsid times.
The city’s structure and convoluted roadmap inspired colonizing writers and poets to spin tales of the dangerous Medina, land of anarchy and chaos, where ambushes are a daily occurrence. But when ethnologists arrived in the 1930s, it was revealed that the city structure of the Medina areas expresses highly sophisticated societal and cultural norms, and houses are built in accordance with the relationships between their inhabitants.

2. Xanthos Letoon

Source: https://www.goolets.net

Xanthos Letoon is the second site from the research that will not be affected by either of the two effects. The two sites showcase the continual historic flow of the Anatolian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations, who lived this land, following in each other’s footsteps. The site contains two separate locations representing the Lycian civilization, a rather significant culture of the Iron Age in Anatolia. Here, some of the most valued inscriptions in Lycian are found. Rock structures and once towering stone columns provide historians with a greater understanding of the
Indo-European origins of the Lycian people and their language.

3. Venice

Source: http://www.grandhotelitaly.com

Venice, The Floating City known for its labyrinth of amazing canals not to mention its lagoons, will suffer the worst results of rising sea level. It is said that a once in a hundred years storm is expected that will cause a surge and close to 98%of the city could end up submerged. It is one of the most famous attractions Italy has and is located across a number of small islands, a hundred and eighteen in total. It got its name from the ancient Veneti people and was historically the capital city of the Republic of Venice.

4. Patriachal Basilica of Aquileia

Source: https://whc.unesco.org

This is an outstanding building that played a big role in the evangelization of a big part of central Europe. It will also suffer from the rising sea level. In history, Aquileia was one of the wealthiest city of the early Roman Empire. It was also one of the largest and was destroyed by Attila around the mid 5th century period. The Basilica, which is very outstanding also has an amazing mosaic pavement.

5. Ferrara

Source: https://www.touring-italy.net

This Italian City alongside its wetlands of Po Delta also faces devastation from rising sea levels. Ferrara is a city in the northern part of Italy, particularly the Emilia-Romagna region. It is one of the Renaissance city states of Italy, one of the most important culturally and the first modern one, which served as a reference point for various minstrels, poets as well as artists.

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