On the way to UNESCO World Heritage
Since 2012 the State Office for Cultural Heritage Baden-Württemberg has been preparing the nomination of the „Caves with the oldest Ice Age art“ for inscription on the World Heritage list. A special working group prepared the nomination file according to UNESCO guidelines. The working group consists of three scientists specialised in Ice Age research and hunter-gatherer archaeology. The document was officially submitted to UNESCO at the beginning of 2016. The decision on the inscription of the “Caves with the oldest Ice Age art” will be made by UNESCO probably in 2017.
Caves, artefacts, landscape - a unique ensemble
The "Caves with the oldest Ice Age art" are a world wide unique archaeological landscape. Not only the outstandingly preserved oldest art objects and musical instruments of mankind, but also the exceptional cluster of Aurignacian sites within a micro region are very special. This shows that the Swabian Jura - especially the Ach and Lone Valleys - were a preferred habitat for the earliest modern humans in Europe.
The significance of the caves, the finds and the landscape as the backbone of the World Heritage nomination have been approved nationally and internationally by renowned experts.
According to UNESCO guidelines, every World Heritage site is defined by its "outstanding universal value" and fulfills the criteria of (historical) authenticity and integrity. In addition, every property fulfills at least one of ten further UNESCO criteria.
For the "Caves with the oldest Ice Age art", listed on Germany's tentative list, the officially submitted nomination file names the criteria (i) and (iii):
(i) They represent a masterpiece of human creative genius.
(iii) They bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared.
Important steps on the way to World Heritage
|April 2009||Stakeholders agree on World Heritage nomination|
|February 2012||Start of drafting the proposal at the State Office for Cultural Heritage|
|December 2012||Submission of nomination for the national tentative list to the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal State of Germany ("Kultusministerkonferenz" / KMK)|
|February 2014||Expert assessment by a committee convened by the KMK|
|June 2014||The "Caves with the oldest Ice Age art" are selected No. 1 of the German tentative list|
|September 2014||Meeting of stakeholders with state secretary Ingo Rust MdL in Rammingen near Hohlenstein in the Lone Valley to agree on further steps in the nomination process|
|June 2015||Meeting of stakeholders at the State Office for Cultural Heritage|
|September 2015||Pre-submission of the proposal to the World Heritage Centre|
|January 2016||Submission of the proposal|
|July 2017||Decision on inscription on the World Heritage list|