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A Value Mapping Tool for Interpreting World Heritage Sites

Petra Archaeological Park

Aziliz Vandesande

on 3 July 2014

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Transcript of A Value Mapping Tool for Interpreting World Heritage Sites

A Value Mapping Tool
for Interpreting World Heritage Sites

Case Study: Petra Archaeological Park
Session 2: Heritage (Mis)interpretation
Authors: A. Vandesande , O. Vileikis , M. Santana Quintero, K. Van Balen
Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation, University of Leuven (Belgium)

Outline of the Workshop
Challenges and Opportunities for Interpretation for Diverse Audiences
Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999
Prison holds a large symbolic value in the struggle against oppression and racism
Tourism strategies are disfranchising the actual role of its outstanding and heritage value
Problem = Misinterpretation of Values
Site authorities perception of heritage values
Local community perception of heritage values
Site authorities target high profile areas and popular site elements
Local community values the limestone quarry
Heritage is interpreted and consumed through unique values of the individual!
A Shift in the International Heritage Field
Value Theorization
Intrinsic Characteristics
Problems in Relation to Misinterpretation
1. The Black Box
2. A Philosophical Shift
3. Intrinsic Characteristics

Petra Archaeological Park - Today
Relation between Interpretation - Presentation and values
Short theoretical background on values & OUV
Case study: Petra Archaeological Park Contemporary issues of Interpretation and Presentation related to values
A solution: value mapping tool
“Understanding Each Other’s Heritage – Challenges for Heritage Communication in a Globalized World”
2012 Symposium and Workshop
Based on the Nara Document on Authenticity (1994)
What value do these objects have to you?
Blackberry Bold-9700 - Black - Azerty
What is its value to you?
What is its value to you?
What is its value to you?
What is its value to you?
18ct Yellow & White gold
Flat sleeved
6mm ring
aka Ona's Wedding ring
Bottle of red wine & two glasses
Artisanal Belgian chocolates
Brand: Guylian
Type: chocolat seafruits
‘It is us – in society, within human culture – who make things signify. Meanings, consequently, will always change, from one culture or period to another’
(Hall, 1997)
Heritage = dynamic process
Heritage has social dimension
Transitory nature of values
social groups ‘filter’ heritage
through mental frames
‘values are assigned and cons-tructed; they are situational’
(Timothy&Boyd, 2003)
can result in conflicting meanings
! when interpreting heritage !
A twofold shift in the
international heritage field
since the 1990s
Past European centered and object oriented approach
New emphasis on
intangible features
Increased focus on
indigenous communities
2008 operational guidelines + fifth organizational strategic objective

Recognition of the need for local participation
Intangibility + Indigeneity
Credibility, Conservation, Capacitybuilding, Communication
Because Society
= the linchpin for values
Intangiblitiy + Indigeneity
Increased interest for significance and values
value centered approach for heritage
Management of conflicting values
Cultural sensitive interpretations
Getty Conservation Institute
ICOMOS Australia
Value theorization in the heritage field
Universally held values types for cultural heritage
= grouping of values
Little progress in the field of
scientific analysis of values
Heritage is still treated as a kind of
Black Box
in which all values are stored
Outstanding Universal Value
Properties should be '
of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view
' (art. 1&2)

Convention Concerning the Protection
of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

Outstanding universal value means
cultural and/or natural significance
which is so exceptional as to
transcend national boundaries
and to be of common importance for
present and future generations of all humanity
. As such, the
permanent protection
of this heritage is of the highest importance to the international community as a whole

Operational guidelines for the
World Heritage Committee 2005 (till 2011 OGs)

'The Bureau felt that
too much emphasis
had been placed in the nomination
on the intangible aspects
of the site and wished to know under which criterion the property was nominated'
Report of the rapporteur of the World Heritage Committee on a nomination:
'The List in its present form suffers from
geographical, temporal, and spiritual imbalances
. With its emphasis still on architectural monuments, the World Heritage List projects a
narrow view of cultural heritage
fails to reflect living cultures, ethnographic and archaeological landscapes
, and many of the broad areas of human activity which are of outstanding universal value'
'Universal value means that a monument, site or group of buildings has a
value that rises above local or regional value
to a value that may be considered
Outstanding is applied to sites that are not only of universal value but are so valuable that
it ‘belongs’ to all humankind
in that they believe it should be transmitted to
future generations
Put in chronological order:
Put in chronological order:
UNESCO World Heritage Centre in cooperation with the Russian Federation, Kazan, (Republic of Tatarstan), 6 - 9 April
Special Expert Meeting of the World Heritage Convention:
the Concept of Outstanding Universal Value
Adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its eighteenth session, Phuket (Thailand), 12-17 December
A Global Strategy for a Balanced, Representative and Credible World Heritage List
Inscription proposal: Paphos, Birthplace of Aphrodito (Cyprus) Paris, 19-22 May
Report of the rapporteur on the fourth session of the World Heritage Committee
Contemporary theoretical heritage interpretation: predominating European character
Monumental architecture and mainly physical attributes
A dynamic framework for a WHL without cultural bias
To encourage nominations from cultures, regions and typologies not well represented
World Heritage Committee, Thirty-fourth session, Brazil , (25 July – 3 August), 2010
Petra was inscribed on the UNESCO WHL in 1985 according to criteria I,III, and IV
Retrospective Inventory
Outstanding Universal Value
Overview of the OUV criteria that
constitute the inscription of PAP
The Nabataean
rock-cut temple/tombs
spread throughout the once extensive trading city represent a unique artistic achievement as they are characterized by
Greek Hellenistic architectural facades
. The Nabatean city surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges, became
a major caravan centre for the incense during Hellenistic and Roman times

The Nabataean
rock-cut temple/tombs
approached via a natural winding rocky cleft named the
, which is the main entrance from the east to a once extensive trading city, represent a unique artistic achievement. The entrance approach and the settlement itself were made possible by the creative genius of the
extensive water distribution and storage system

The Nabataean rock-cut temple/tombs are masterpieces of a lost city that has
fascinated visitors since the early 19th century
. Even today, this unique artistic achievement continues to be
a national symbol of Jordan
and is one of its
most visited tourist attractions
Criterion (i): Represent a masterpiece of human creative genius
Criterion (iii): Bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared
§ 1
The serried rows of numerous rock-cut tombs reflecting architectural influences from the Assyrians through to monumental Hellenistic; the remains of the extensive water engineering system, city walls and freestanding temples are an outstanding testament to the now lost Nabataean civilization of the fourth century BC to the first century AD.
§ 2
Remains of the
settlement, the
Iron Age
settlement, the remains of
civic planning including the colonnaded street, the
remains including the triple-apses basilica church and the burial place of the
Prophet Aaron
, all bear exceptional
testimony to past civilizations
in the Petra area.

The exceptional
testimonies to past civilizations
in the Petra area were
repopulated by the semi-nomadic tribe of the Bedouins
who live of goat herding and agriculture.
, the Petra area embodies an essential community function as a place where the
Bedouins gather and act as a community

The remnants of the diversion dam, the water channels, aqueducts, reservoirs and cisterns bear exceptional testimony to the
water engineering skills of all past civilizations
in the Petra area.
Criterion (iv): Be an outstanding example of a type of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history
historical architectural ensembles and contemporary tourist facilities
comprising 30 toilet structures, 35 vendor shops, 1 ranger post and 2 police kiosks demonstrate an outstanding
fusion of Nabatean and Hellenistic tradition with modern architecture
, marking a significant renewal of Petra at the turn of the twenty-first century. The
vehicular circulation
within the historical city centre and the
uncontrolled use of generators
within the rock cut tombs are an exemplary
addition to the historical water engineering systems
dating from the first centuries BC to AD.

architectural ensemble
comprising the so-called "royal tombs" in Petra, and the monastery demonstrate an outstanding
fusion of Hellenistic architecture with Eastern tradition
, marking a significant meeting of East and West at the turn of the first millennium of our era. The remnants of the diversion dam, water channels, aqueducts, reservoirs and cisterns are an outstanding example of
water engineering
dating from the first centuries BC to AD.

architectural ensembles and remnants of the water engineering systems
comprise an outstanding example of the different building ensembles of all the past civilizations that resided in the Petra area. The outstanding
natural geological features, major scenic values and topographical characteristics
of Petra illustrates the relationship between all the past civilizations and their
natural environment

1985 - 1995: The visitor percentage = multiplied by
Up until 2011: The visitor numbers = increased to a

= just under
a million tourists annually
Acts of Vandalism and Theft
Tourism Pressure
Lack of clearly presented monuments
Lack of delineated paths
Uncontrolled movement of visitors
Particular congestion points
Last 40 years of Management and Presentation in PAP
Negatively affected the Local Indigenous Communities
Focused on tangible features
Rules out the intangible values of the local indigenous communities
Stereotyping of local traditions
Indigenous Tribes
Confronted with the outside world in the broadest sense of the word
Daily impact of tourists on a global scale influences their traditions
Pressure to participate in tourism industry
Bedouin sell their own identities
Visitors to Petra are encouraged to experience the Bedouin way of life:

Ride a camel, hike with a Bedouin guide or spend a night camping with a Bedouin meal

Absence of alternative possibilities
Evident need for a correct interpretation and presentation
Textbook Example of the Wrong Use of Values
Lack of
values centered
= literally eroding the essential tangible and intangible values of the site
Inclusiveness of different stakeholders
'Interpretation should explore the significance of a site in its multi-faceted historical, political, spiritual, and artistic contexts'
Reveal the authenticity of a heritage property and contributes to its conservation
In accordance with the ICOMOS Charter for the interpretation and preservation of cultural heritage sites (2008, Ename Charter)
Interrelated ‘aspects and dimensions’ (art. 13)
Level of integrity to preserve
Value Mapping Tool
Consistent with the need for a dynamic value process
considers modified views, redefined and devalued aspects
Guide to logically categorize values
Check list for a complete value assessment
Preservation priorities
Unilateral economic use value
Interpret commonly held qualitative values
Intangible Culture of the Bedouins Today
Based on Susan Pearce (2000)
Society is the linchpin in constructing values
Broad range of stakeholders
complex set of perceived values
Benefits for management:
Prestige and Existance value

Opens the outdated
black box
of values

Check list concept avoids the domination of

Timeline concept copes with the
nature of values

Takes into account the
social dimension
of values

Guideline concept covers the ground of

Holistic presentation
Correct interpretation
Practical use makes stakeholders think on &
past values

Relates heritage properties to their wider
and settings

Practical use makes stakeholders
present values

‘The Rose Red City, Half as Old as Time’
Petra is an
archaeological city
in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its
rock-cut architecture
hydraulic engineering systems
The rock-cut capital city of the Nabatean monarchy
Major trading center between South Arabia and the Mediterranean
Prehistoric evidence - human presence traces
Lost its Metropolis status
One of the world's richest and largest archaeological sites
National Symbol of Jordan
Fascination for the Rest of the World
Elected as one of the 'New Seven Wonders of the World’ in 2007
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
An Other View of Petra
The cultural space of the Bdul in Petra and Wadi Rum
UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Important biodiversity, major scenic values, key geological features and topographical characteristics
Cultural Property Mixed Property / Cultural Landscape
The category of ‘cultural landscapes’ recognizes the relationships or interactions between people and their landscapes, or ‘natural’ environments
ca. 200 000 YBP
ca. 1st century B.C.
Hellenistic and Roman Times
Byzantine period 6th century
1812 Revealed to Western world
Protected area of the Petra Region ca. 900 km²
Petra Archaeological Park area ca. 265 km²
Located in what is today southern Jordan, between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea
Umayyad period 7th century
13th century
Economic stagnation
Swiss explorer Johan Ludwig Burckhardt
Primarily a theoretical methodology proposal
Ongoing research - solely a single case study
Understandable need to implement more case studies
No conclusive results
Changing values entail regular reassessment
At the moment = as a
when so many heritage properties remain unrecorded and unassessed
In time the value mapping tool can contribute in
interpreting and presenting the puzzle of heritage properties
and identify commonly held qualitative views
'An interpretation of Outstanding Universal Value can be better achieved by taking the ‘local’ context into account'
(World Heritage, n°62, 2012)
! Oral heritage !
Palaeoloithic and
Epipalaeolitich period
Neolithic period
Bronze age

Economic use value
is predominating
Universal Public Space
Broad range of stakeholders
should be included in the management of PAP
and the interpretation of its values
for your attention
Full transcript