1.         Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site (El Salvador) (C 675)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/675/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1992-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 160,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/675/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/675/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

The Secretariat has received the Management Plan for the site. Concultura has been working since 1997 on that Management Plan, according to guidelines and criteria elaborated at the international seminar organized by the Secretariat in 1997. Since 1999, and in the framework of the Mundo Maya initiative, the Getty Conservation Institute assisted in the process of the elaboration of the site’s Management Plan, as it can be a reference for complex archaeological sites in the region. The site was covered by the ashes of the Volcano Caldera in 600 A.C. and was discovered in 1979. The conservation conditions of the archaeological site are exceptional and they provide a rare insight into the daily life of the Central American agricultural communities of that period.

The Management Plan is a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral tool for the development of archaeological research and applied conservation. Over the last two years, the site registered samples from ceramics, earthen structures and organic materials giving parameters to identify the potential damage factors as well as providing indicators to evaluate environmental impacts. Paleo-botanic, paleo-magnetic and geophysical, geological analyses are being carried out. The results have been most successful. The Management Plan aims at developing a national policy for professional archaeological heritage management, and should guarantee the transfer of know-how to other archaeological sites in the country as well as the continuity of the process at local and national level. It covers a wide range of activities from the technical and very sophisticated analyses for conservation to community participation programmes. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7B.91

The World Heritage Committee [55],

1. Takes note of the finalization of the management plan;

2. Congratulates the State Party for its concerted efforts in completing the Plan;

3. and Expresses its appreciation to the Getty Conservation Institute for its important contribution in this field;

4. Recognizes, because of the vulnerable nature of the property, the need to reinforce the property as a research laboratory in archaeology and conservation, that can also be useful for the sub-region;

5. Invites the State Party to reinforce the on-site staff and to set up a coordination committee with the relevant national authorities for the plan's implementation;

6. Invites the State Party to request International Assistance in order to improve the conditions of the water canalizations and avoid further structural damage.

[55]  Decision adopted without discussion.