Ancient tombs in Japan added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites

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As a world’s first, ancient tombs managed by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan as well as areas in the Osaka Prefecture finally made the cut and were registered as one of the World Cultural Heritage sites further adding to the internationally prominent list of wonders.


These ancient tombs all located across the different cities of Osaka Prefecture particularly the cities of Sakai, Habikino, and Fujiidera are collectively known as the Mozu-Furuichi tumulus clusters and are composed of about 49 tombs said to have been built between the late fourth and fifth centuries.


More than ten years ago, local authorities first proposed to the Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs to initiate measures with the end goal of adding the ancient tomb clusters to the list of World Cultural Heritage sites after an appropriate evaluation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


Fast forward to this day, the long-term efforts of all those involved in preserving and protecting the ancient tombs have finally come to fruition. During a recent UNESCO meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, these clusters have finally been recognized by UNESCO and have been added to the World Cultural Heritage list. This is based on the recommendation of an advisory panel of UNESCO which was conducted sometime in May of this year. The UNESCO advisory panel observed that the identified ancient burial grounds manifest certain historical significances during the period such as the socio-political structures, social class differences and a highly sophisticated funerary system. In addition thereto the panel also found the sites to be “an outstanding type of ancient East Asian burial mound construction.” Based on the assessment of experts, these burial mounds reveal exemplary engineering technology given the knowledge available during that particular period thus giving us a peek into the historical practices of Japan’s ancient civilization.


With these recent developments, Japan will now have a total of twenty-three (23) sites internationally recognized as part of the World Heritage list.



Ancient Japanese tombs added to UNESCO World Heritage list

UNESCO approves Mozu-Furuichi as cultural heritage

UNESCO adds Osaka tombs to heritage list


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