jump to the content

Ouballang ra Ngebedech (Ngebedech Terraces)

Date of Submission: 26/08/2004
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(v)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Rita Olsudong Archaeologist, Palau HPO P.O. Box 100 Koror Palau 96940
Coordinates: 07°26’13.4" N / 134°29’33.6" E
Ref.: 1930
Export
Word File
Disclaimer

The Secretariat of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Heritage Centre do not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other information or documentation provided by the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention to the Secretariat of UNESCO or to the World Heritage Centre.

The publication of any such advice, opinion, statement or other information documentation on the World Heritage Centre’s website and/or on working documents also does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of UNESCO or of the World Heritage Centre concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party

Description

The Ngebedech Terraces cover a total area of 161,380-m2. This area is grassy upland savannah surrounded by forests. Prehistoric terraced hills are a prominent feature of the cultural landscape of Palau. Some terrace complexes are sophisticated systems that may have been variously used for agriculture, settlement, defense, and ceremonial functions. Morgan (1988: 29) described the Ngebedech Terraces this way: The magnificent sculpted hills of Palau, such as those, southeast of Ngchemiangel Bay, sometimes stretch for miles across the skyline of Babeldaob. The lower terraces seem to have served agricultural purposes, while truncated earthen pyramids crowned many of the sculpted hilltops. The culminating features of the hilltops apparently were constructed by groups of village workers, perhaps to serve as community refuges in times of civil unrest or other purposes not presently known. Morgan (1988:10) described features found at the Ngebedech Terraces: On the second terrace down to the northwest are two footcatchers about 3 to 4 meters deep. The foot catchers roughly align with similar features in the third terrace down and seem to form earthen ramps through the steep terrace faces, perhaps for the purpose of facilitating access to the upper levels of the hill complex. The footcatchers may have been used to assist in the construction of the terraces and crown. Perhaps the footcatchers would have been reconfigured upon completion of the upper earthworks.