Decision : 28 COM 14B.35
Nominations of Cultural Properties to the World Heritage List (Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Inscribes the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape, Mongolia, on the World Heritage List as a cultural landscape on the basis of cultural criteria (ii), (iii) and (iv):
Criterion (ii): The Orkhon valley clearly demonstrates how a strong and persistent nomadic culture, led to the development of extensive trade networks and the creation of large administrative, commercial, military and religious centres. The empires that these urban centres supported undoubtedly influenced societies across Asia and into Europe and in turn absorbed influence from both east and west in a true interchange of human values.
Criterion (iii): Underpinning all the development within the Orkhon valley for the past two millennia has been a strong culture of nomadic pastoralism. This culture is still a revered and indeed central part of Mongolian society and is
highly respected as a ‘noble’ way to live in harmony with the landscape.
Criterion (iv): The Orkhon valley is an outstanding example of a valley that illustrates several significant stages in human history. First and foremost it was
the centre of the Mongolian Empire; secondly it reflects a particular Mongolian variation of Turkish power; thirdly, the Tuvkhun hermitage monastery was the setting for the development of a Mongolian form of Buddhism; and fourthly, Khar Balgas, reflects the Uighur urban culture in the capital of the Uighur Empire.