YANGON: Myanmar’s three Pyu ancients cities have been inscribed into the World Heritage List for the first time, state media quoted the UNESCO as reporting Monday.
According to a statement of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage Committee, the three Myanmar ancient cities of Hanlin, Beikthano and Sri Kestra with brick walls and moats were put into the list during the 38th session of the committee held in Doha of Qatar.
Myanmar submitted the request for the inscription in October 1996.
The three ancient cities are located in vast irrigated landscapes in the dry zone of the Ayeyawaddy River Basin and reflect the Pyu Kingdom that were prosperous for over 1,000 years between 200 BC and 900 AD.
The three cities have been partly excavated archaeological sites and more excavation works remain for excavated palace citadels, burial grounds and early industrial production sites as well as monumental brick Buddhist stupas, partly standing walls and water management features — some still in use — that underpinned the organized intensive agriculture.
Hanlin, excavated in 1904, 1929-30 and 1962-67, had a rectangular city wall in brick of 3 by 1.5 km with a palace site at the center, while Beikthano, with a side of 3 km quadrangular city walls and gateways, was excavated in 1959-63 and Sri Kestra, the largest Pyu city, enclosed by a circular city wall in brick with a diameter of 4.4 km, according to the report.
Ancient Pyu people spoke a language closely related to Myanmar with the stone inscriptions found in some of their monuments providing the only knowledge of this language.
The Pyu culture is characterized by specific artifacts of coins , ceramic and metalware and archaeological evidence confirms the emergence of Buddhism in Myanmar during the Pyu period.
Moreover, the cultural relics and religious buildings, located in Natma Taung National Park, are reportedly under consideration by UNESCO to be also designated as world heritage sites. PNA