Tombs, Dinosaur Coast to Be Nominated as UNESCO World Heritage
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
The Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) has nominated 40 Royal Tombs of the Joseon Kingdom and the Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast to be designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
CHA administrator You Hong-june said they have already filed the application for nomination of the two sites with the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The nomination will be independently evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. The two bodies will submit their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee. The evaluation process is expected to take one and a half years.
The 40 Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) are located mostly within 40 kilometers of Seoul. The Donggureung tomb cluster is considered the most representative of the royal tombs since this is where seven kings and ten queens are entombed. There you can find the Geonwolleung, or tomb, of King Taejo, built in 1408.
The Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast features numerous locations of fossilized dinosaur eggs and footprints throughout the southern coast of Korea. This area is considered the world's largest grounds of various fossilized eggs and footprints of dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period (144 to 65 million years ago) of the Mesozoic era.
Fossil sites are found in Boseong, Haenam, Hwasun and Yeosu in South Jeolla Province and Goseong in South Gyeongsang Province. ``These sites are characterized by the fact that the fossilized dinosaurs eggs are widely distributed in perfectly well preserved conditions; the footprints of the archaeopteryxes are the biggest in the world, and the two webbed feet birds' footprints are the oldest of its kind in the world,'' according to the UNESCO Web site.
There are already several UNESCO World Heritages sites in Korea, such as the Seokguram Grotto, Bulguksa Temple, Jongmyo Shrine, Changdeokgung Palace Complex, Suwon Hwaseong Fortress and Gyeongju Historical Areas.
UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world, considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is
embodied in an international treaty called ``Convention concerning the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage,'' adopted by UNESCO in 1972.