First Expert Meeting for Trans-national nomination of Amerindian Rock Art to the World Heritage List
The World Heritage Centre organized a thematic "First Expert Meeting on Rock Art in the Caribbean and the UNESCO World Heritage List, for a possible serial trans-national nomination to World Heritage status of Amerindian Rock Art" in Basse Terre, Guadeloupe (3-6 May 2006).
This meeting followed the thematic "International Seminar to identify archaeological sites in the Caribbean (Martinique, September 2004). Archaeologists and government experts examined ways to better represent the diversity of this heritage on the WH List by dividing the sites into five main categories: (1) rock art sites, (2) Amerindian archaeological sites of the Caribbean, (3) the period of contact sites, (4) cultural landscapes and (5) Caribbean African Heritage sites.
The need for such a meeting emerged at the IACA Congress in Trinidad and Tobago (August 2005) with the presentation of the published Proceedings of the Seminar to identify archaeological sites in the Caribbean, in Martinique.
Guadeloupe has the largest concentration of petroglyphs of the entire Caribbean, and the meeting was organized in close cooperation with the Regional Council of Guadeloupe, with their funding and that of Spanish Funds-in-Trust. Representatives of ICOMOS International, the IACA, regional experts and institutional representatives from 18 Caribbean countries examined the most outstanding Rock Art sites in the area, highlighting their common Caribbean pre-Columbian archaeological heritage. The experts were divided into three geographical zones: the small Antilles, the large Antilles and the continental zone. They established a list of the most important Rock Art sites of each zone in relation to their concentration, authenticity, integrity, state of conservation and national protection. This made evident the existence of 16 sites which could potentially be proposed for trans-national serial nomination for inscription on the World Heritage List.