Archeological site: the old city of Jerusalem and its walls
Location: Israel/Jordan border
World Heritage List: Added in 1981
Nominated: To preserve existing architecture and improve current living conditions
Cultures: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Basic Archaeological Site Info:
Area: 1 km2
Time Period: the city itself was really rebuilt under King David around 1,000 BCE, written history dates 2,000 BCE
Cultural Period: “Sack of Jerusalem” (10th century BC) – King David attacks and captures Jerusalem. Jerusalem becomes City of David and capital of the United Kingdom of Israel
Cultural Groups: This site is a melting pot of religions in Israel, yet it is specifically the holiest place to the Christian people. The main languages here are Hebrew and Arabic.
In Jerusalem over 200,000 Jews and 270,000 Arabs live in overlapping communities. This in itself causes social conflict, yet this is a social issue in the city. Another huge problem that Jerusalem has been facing is the preservation of its most important historical sites. Being the most holy city to all of the Christian religion and the pure age of the city, tourism, war, and even the locals threaten the preservation of the city.
Jesus was born, crucified, and rose again in Jerusalem and Mohammad raised to the heavens here. Jews and Islamic people visit the places of religious importance daily and in ritual. Islamic people pray at the Wailing Wall and kiss it when they leave. Jews touch the wall in which Jesus’ hand touched on the street of Via Dolorosa (the street in which he drug the cross upon his back). They come to mourn his death at Golgotha. These places are of huge significance to the history of their culture.
There are many dangers threatening the preservation of the holy city. 1The fights between Jordan and Israel over Jerusalem, if there was an outbreak of war, could destroy the city of Jerusalem or destroy many important historical locations. This is an ongoing problem due to the fact that Jerusalem is neither in Jordan nor Israel. (Ex. The Six-Day War in June 1967- took 19 years after it to start restoring the damaged buildings.) 2The age of the city itself and 3the number of human interactions with the historical sites is damaging places. 4There are also terrorist threats in Jerusalem, so there are watch guards put on at night and on Fridays.
To learn more go to:
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/148/ (on preservation tactics)
http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_early_palestine_jerusalem.php (Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims and Jews)