Decision : 27 COM 8C.30
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (South Africa)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Inscribes the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, South Africa, on the World Heritage List on the basis of cultural criteria (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v):

Criterion (ii): The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape contains evidence of an important interchange of human values that led to far-reaching cultural and social changes in southern Africa between AD 900 and 1300.

Criterion (iii): The remains in the Mapungubwe cultural landscape are a remarkably complete testimony to the growth and subsequent decline of the Mapungubwe Sstate which at its height was the largest kingdom in the African sub-continent

Criterion (iv): The establishment of Mapungubwe as a powerful state, trading through the East African ports with Arabia and India was a significant stage in the history of the African sub-continent.

Criterion (v): The remains in the Mapungubwe cultural landscape graphically illustrate the impact of climate change and record the growth and then decline of the Kkingdom of Mapungubwe as a clear record of a culture that became vulnerable to irreversible change.

2. Draws attention to the State Party's statutory requirements for the protection of World Heritage properties;

3. Encourages the State Party to:

(a) Complete the formal designation of the Vhembe-Dongola National Park, and undertake contractual negotiations with private landowners within the nominated property; 

(b) Reconstitute the Archaeological Task Group as an integral part of the management scheme, with the responsibility of preparing research policies and authorizing and overseeing excavation and survey projects;

(c) Commission from consultants, with experience in this field, an integrated interpretation plan, involving the content and display of the interpretation centre, and the presentation and interpretation of individual sites;

(d) Expand the permanent staffing of the Park management team so as to include a full-time professional archaeologist with heritage management training.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
Focal Point: AFR
States Parties: South Africa
Year: 2003
Decision Code: 27 COM 8C.30