Pre-historic Tell al-Sultan site on world heritage list: UNESCO
UNESCO has added the Pre-historic Tell al-Sultan to its world heritage list during the 45th World Heritage Committee Meeting held in Riyadh.
On Sunday, UNESCO officially added the "pre-historic site of Tell al-Sultan" to its World Heritage List.
This archaeological site is situated near the Occupied West Bank city of Ariha. The decision was announced on X and was made during the 45th World Heritage Committee Meeting held in Riyadh.
During the session to inscribe the site, UNESCO's Assistant Director General, Ernesto Ottone, highlighted that the nominated property is the prehistoric archaeological site of Tell al-Sultan, located outside the ancient city of Jericho. He emphasized that the site contains prehistoric remains and clarified that there are no Jewish or Christian artifacts or remains at the location.
A UNESCO diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed this information and mentioned that no objections were raised by any state party during the three-year candidacy process that led to the site's inscription. It's worth noting that "Israel" had withdrawn from UNESCO in 2019, citing allegations of anti-"Israel" bias within the organization.
World's oldest fortified city
Despite this, UNESCO's decision underscores the significance of Tell al-Sultan as an integral part of the diverse Palestinian heritage, with exceptional historical value, according to Palestinian Tourism Minister Rula Maayah, who attended the meeting in Riyadh. Maayah further emphasized the importance of Tell al-Sultan as the world's oldest fortified city and its deserving status as a World Heritage Site.
Tell al-Sultan, predating even Egypt's pyramids, is an oval-shaped tell or mound located in the Jordan Valley, containing prehistoric evidence of human activity.
UNESCO noted that the site exhibits skulls and statues, indicating cultic practices among its Neolithic inhabitants, while early Bronze Age archaeological materials reveal signs of urban planning.
Having been under excavation for over a century, Tell al-Sultan proudly claims the title of the world's oldest continuously inhabited settlement, as reported by the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa. With its inscription, Tell al-Sultan becomes the fourth Palestinian site to join UNESCO's world heritage list, joining the ranks of the Church of the Nativity and the Old City of Al-Khalil.