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

Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region

Sudan
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Desertification
  • Flooding
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Land conversion
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Wind
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Deterioration as a result of exposure to difficult environmental conditions such as wind with sand and floods
  • Urban encroachment
  • Absence of a management plan with government commitment
  • Flooding
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems / management plan
  • Wind and Desertification
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 2 (from 2004-2005)
Total amount approved : 68,900 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

2004, 2006, 2007: World Heritage Centre missions; February 2011: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 29 November 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1073/documents/, providing information on the following:

  • Five archaeological missions are currently taking place within the framework of the Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project (QSAP) (comprising two missions from the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, as well as a mission each from the Italian Institute for Conservation and Restoration, the Spanish Mission and the German Archaeological Institute), which aims at halting further degradation of monuments, caused by exposure to extreme climatic conditions and destructive and uncontrolled human activity, and where possible to carry out conservation measures such as the restoration and reconstruction of archaeological remains and wall paintings, based on scientific studies and analysis. The project also focuses on the documentation and mapping of the property, the upgrading and improving of the Barkal Museum, as well as enhancing site presentation and visitor experience;
  • The property retains a high degree of integrity and authenticity, and environmental monitoring and surveys are carried out in preparation of the conservation works. The Mut Temple has been the focus of careful conservation and stabilisation works, while the Kiosk B551 was reburied after 3D photo-scans were taken. The Small temple displays the worst effects of regular flash flooding, which have undermined the entire temple front. Planned conservation consists of building a drainage system to divert the water runoff, clearing debris inside the temple, repairing flooring, and partly rebuilding columns, however, due to lack of funding, these works have not yet been carried out. The Great Amun Temple, which is of vast proportions, has suffered severely from flooding and erosion as well as scavenging, and has been reburied until funding is available to carry out necessary conservation work. The Meroitic palace, originally excavated in 1919, was used as a dump site for excavations. It will not be re-excavated, but a computerized model may be displayed in the Barkal Museum. The Hathor temple of Taharqa¸ located at the south-western edge of the property, has been totally destroyed by stone scavengers, and inner rock chambers have been badly eroded;
  • The construction of a cover over the El Kurru funerary temple, at a suggested height of 3.5m above ground surface, is proposed as part of the International Kurru Archaeological Project as a protection against rainwater, corrosion and defacement while allowing the ventilation of groundwater moisture;
  • Two grants have been provided to the Jebel Barkal museum to upgrade, digitise and catalogue the collection, and to modernise the building, exhibition space and storage rooms. Currently, the museum functions rather as a storage space for artefacts, which are undocumented, poorly displayed and have largely been broken due to inappropriate handling.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

Notwithstanding the preventive conservation efforts and preservation actions so far implemented by the State Party in the framework of the QSAP, the overall state of conservation of the property is cause for great concern. The protective measures to shield the monuments from further erosion and to rehabilitate the stonework of the pyramids are valuable efforts, as are the future planned activities addressing visitor management, site presentation and the Barkal museum upgrade. The property appears to be in a perilous state of conservation, reflecting years of neglect, lack of maintenance and protection, and inadequate management and staff capacity, which result in the deterioration of important attributes, threatening the property’s integrity and having a direct negative impact on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). An overall Master Plan for the site's development, interpretation, and capacity-building for long-term site management arranged by QSAP, needs to be developed as a matter of priority rather than being a desirable goal. The construction of a cover over the El Kurru funerary temple needs more careful consideration and detailed documentation should be provided to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Regrettably, the report of the State Party does not provide clear information on the overall strategy and status of project activities, nor have urgent management and monitoring issues been addressed. It is unclear whether a tourism management plan guides site presentation and visitor guidance actions. No information has been provided concerning the completion of the mapping to clearly identify the boundaries of the five component parts in accordance with the standards identified in Annex 11 of the Operational Guidelines, despite previous requests by the Committee. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee strongly urge the State Party to address management issues and the monitoring system, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, within the overall strategy, in order to adequately target long-term conservation needs. Furthermore, the State Party should provide details on the tourism management plan, as well as detailed documentation on the actions carried out and planned.

It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the property’ state of conservation, identify precise threats to its OUV in collaboration with key national and international stakeholders, develop an action plan addressing management, monitoring and visitor management issues, and determine whether the state of conservation of the attributes that sustain the property’s OUV, notably its authenticity and integrity, are subject to ascertained or potential danger, in line with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.59
Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region (Sudan) (C 1073)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.28, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Notes the preventive conservation efforts and preservation actions so far implemented by the State Party in the framework of the Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project;
  4. Expresses its concern about the overall state of conservation of the property which, according to the information provided, appears to be in a perilous state, reflecting years of neglect, lack of maintenance and protection, and inadequate management and staff capacity, which result in the deterioration of important attributes, threatening the property’s integrity and having a direct negative impact on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  5. Regrets that, despite its previous request, no clear information has been provided on the overall strategy and status of project activities for each of the five component parts, nor have the urgent management and monitoring issues been addressed;
  6. Also regrets that no information has been provided concerning the completion of the mapping to clearly identify boundaries of the five component parts in accordance with the standards identified in Annex 11 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Urges the State Party, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to address the management issues and need for a monitoring system in order to adequately target long-term conservation needs, and to provide details on the tourism management plan, as well as detailed documentation on the actions carried out and planned in the five component parts;
  8. Requests the State Party to provide detailed information and documentation on the proposal to construct a cover over the El Kurru funerary temple, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Also requests the State Party to invite, as a matter of urgency, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to: evaluate its state of conservation, identify precise threats to its OUV in collaboration with key national and international stakeholders, develop a plan of action to address the issues of management, monitoring and visitor management, and to determine whether the state of conservation of the attributes that sustain the OUV of the property, notably its authenticity and integrity, are subject to ascertained or potential danger; in line with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.59

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.28, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Notes the preventive conservation efforts and preservation actions so far implemented by the State Party in the framework of the Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project;
  4. Expresses its concern about the overall state of conservation of the property which, according to the information provided, appears to be in a perilous state, reflecting years of neglect, lack of maintenance and protection, and inadequate management and staff capacity, which result in the deterioration of important attributes, threatening the property’s integrity and having a direct negative impact on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  5. Regrets that, despite its previous request, no clear information has been provided on the overall strategy and status of project activities for each of the five component parts, nor have the urgent management and monitoring issues been addressed;
  6. Also regrets that no information has been provided concerning the completion of the mapping to clearly identify boundaries of the five component parts in accordance with the standards identified in Annex 11 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Urges the State Party, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to address the management issues and need for a monitoring system in order to adequately target long-term conservation needs, and to provide details on the tourism management plan, as well as detailed documentation on the actions carried out and planned in the five component parts;
  8. Requests the State Party to provide detailed information and documentation on the proposal to construct a cover over the El Kurru funerary temple, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Also requests the State Party to invite, as a matter of urgency, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to: evaluate its state of conservation, identify precise threats to its OUV in collaboration with key national and international stakeholders, develop a plan of action to address the issues of management, monitoring and visitor management, and to determine whether the state of conservation of the attributes that sustain the OUV of the property, notably its authenticity and integrity, are subject to ascertained or potential danger; in line with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines.
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019.
Report year: 2018
Sudan
Date of Inscription: 2003
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
Exports

* : 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.


top