Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.


Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Financial resources
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Lack of maintenance ; Halt of site excavations

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Unstable archaeological strata and cave roof
  • Need to prepare the master plan of the site giving priority to the remodelling of the museum facilities
  • Complete halt of site excavations
  • Lack of research funds
  • Lack of adequate maintenance of the site
  • Site museum needs to be refurbished
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 1 (from 1993-1993)
Total amount approved : 26,000 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: The Bureau, at its eighteenth session in July 1994, was informed of the results of a World Heritage Centre monitoring mission to five of the World Heritage cultural sites in China, including the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. The mission was generally impressed with the standard of maintenance of Chinese World Heritage sites and the professionalism of the staff responsible for them. Nevertheless, the mission raised specific technical issues with the State Bureau of Cultural Relics and other responsible authorities in China, notably on the need for technical training in the conservation of ruined stonework, the conservation of earthen structures, the conservation of marble, new jointing techniques for timber conservation, the conservation of wall paintings, computer-assisted recording of standing monuments and geophysical archaeological recording techniques. With regard to the management of World Heritage sites in China, the report emphasized the need to better manage the construction of tourist facilities and intrusive structures in the World Heritage sites, noting that a number of them had been erected since inscription. Concern was also raised over visitor pressures and the mission recommended that a tourism management plan be elaborated for the sites.

New information: Following the recommendation from the Secretariat for a reactive monitoring mission to this site, ICCROM and ICOMOS were requested to nominate experts for this mission. On 5 May 1999, the Centre received a fax-letter from the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO inviting the international experts from ICCROM and ICOMOS to undertake this mission in September 1999.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to examine information that may be made available at the time of its twenty-third extraordinary session and take the appropriate decision thereupon.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Previous deliberations:

World Heritage Bureau, eighteenth session - Chapter VII.21

World Heritage Committee, twentieth session - Chapter VII.47

World Heritage Bureau, twenty-third ordinary session - Chapter IV.52


New information: In January 1999, the Chinese authorities welcomed this suggestion for a Joint ICCROM-ICOMOS mission. The World Heritage Centre transmitted the EDF (Electricite de France) Report on the “Results of geological and geophysical research of Peking Man Site” to the ICOMOS and ICCROM experts prior to their mission, which took place between 13-17 September 1999, as requested by the Bureau at its twenty-third session. The findings of the ICOMOS-ICCROM joint mission will be presented at the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 BUR IV.B.52
Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian (The People’s Republic of China)

Following receipt of a technical co-operation request and an alarming state of conservation report submitted by the Chinese authorities, the World Heritage Centre recommended that an ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission be undertaken to identify the emergency conservation and site management needs. The Bureau was informed that, with the agreement of the State Party, ICCROM, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre were organizing this mission, which was expected to take place in September 1999.

The Delegate of the Republic of Korea brought the attention of the Bureau to the serious need to adequately conserve this important site and recommended that co-operation with relevant national geophysics research institutions be sought.

The Observer of China informed the Bureau that his Government welcomed the initiative of the World Heritage Centre to organize this ICOMOS-ICCROM mission, and that the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the national authorities entrusted to protect the site, had made preparations to welcome this mission.

The Bureau decided to examine further information to be made available at its twenty-third extraordinary session, after the proposed ICOMOS-ICCROM mission is undertaken. The Bureau asked the advisory bodies to co-operate with the national geophysics institutions in formulating recommendations for enhanced management of this site. Finally, the Bureau requested the Secretariat to ensure that the report of the geophysical research conducted in 1997 by Electricité de France (EDF) under the Assistance-Ethno/UNESCO/Chinese Academy of Sciences - Project for Rehabilitation, Protection and Conservation of the Peking Man Site be made available to the ICOMOS-ICCROM experts for integration into the report to be presented to the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau. 

23 COM X.B.34
SOC: Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian (China)

X.34 Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian (China)

The Committee recalled the reports from the twenty-third ordinary and the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on the state of conservation of this property and adopted the following decision:

"The Committee took note of the findings of the report and recommendations of the ICOMOS-ICCROM Joint Mission, undertaken in September 1999, which examined the state of conservation, management and factors affecting the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. The Committee expressed appreciation to the Government of China, the advisory bodies and the Secretariat for the organization of the Joint Mission, which resulted with concrete recommendations for short and long term actions for enhanced management of the site. The Committee underlined the importance of putting into place a systematic low-cost monitoring system for the whole site, as well as the need for preparing an overall conservation and management plan.

The Committee welcomed the Government's intention to seriously examine the Joint Mission's recommendations, and requested the advisory bodies and the World Heritage Centre to closely co-operate with the national authorities in the necessary follow-up actions. As to the Joint Mission recommendation to add criterion (iv) and remove criterion (vi) under which the site is inscribed on the World Heritage List, the Committee requested ICOMOS to examine this matter further in consultation with the State Party. The Committee requested ICOMOS to make a further recommendation for examination by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau."

The Bureau may wish to formulate a decision upon examining the findings and recommendations of the ICOMOS-ICCROM joint mission.

Report year: 1999
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(vi)

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.