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Cities of Caral-Supe (Peru) and Levoča (Slovakia) added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List

Sunday, 28 June 2009
access_time 1 min read

The Sacred City of Caral-Supe (Peru), the oldest centre of civilization in the Americas, was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee, chaired by María Jesús San Segundo, the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO. The Committee also added the historic centre of the town of Levoča to the Slovak World Heritage site of Spišský Hrad inscribed on the List in 1993. The extended site is to be known as Levoča, Spišský and the Associated Cultural Monument.

The 5000-year-old 626-hectare archaeological site of The Sacred City of Caral-Supe is situated on a dry desert terrace overlooking the green valley of the Supe river. It dates back to the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes and is the oldest centre of civilization in the Americas. Exceptionally well-preserved, the site is impressive in terms of its design and the complexity of its architectural, especially its monumental stone and earthen platform mounts and sunken circular courts. One of 18 urban settlements situated in the same area, Caral features complex and monumental architecture, including six large pyramidal structures. A quipu (the knot system used in Andean civilizations to record information) found on the site testifies to the development and complexity of Caral society. The city’s plan and some of its components, including pyramidal structures and residence of the elite, show clear evidence of ceremonial functions, signifying a powerful religious ideology.

The extended site in Slovakia now features the addition of the historic town-centre of Levoča founded in the 13th and 14th centuries within fortifications. Most of the site has been preserved and it includes the 14th century church of St James with its ten alters of the 15th and 16th centuries, a remarkable collection of polychrome works in the Late Gothic style, including an 18.6 metre high alterpiece by completed around 1510 by Master Paul.