• Keywords: Iran, Cultural Landscape, Uramanat, Zagros, Kurdistan, sharp slopes, traditional agriculture, kurdish dialect, iranian folk.

1. OFFICIAL CLASSIFICATIONS AND CATEGORIES

1.1 National and International Classification Lists

The Cultural Landscape of Uramanat is in the Tentative List of UNESCO, date of submission: 09/08/2007, criteria: (i)(iii)(v), category: cultural, ref.: 5212.

1.2. Cultural Landscape Category/Tipology

Organically evolved landscapes
Relict (or fossil) landscape
Associative cultural landscape
1

1.3. Description and Justification by Med-O-Med

Description

Uramanat Villages owns a unique rural texture, architecture, lifestyle and agriculture. And as a prominent example of integration of man into the nature, the inhabitants integrated themselves into the nature through utilization of sharp slopes in agriculture. The region enjoys a special, coherent system of culture, agriculture, way of thinking and behavior, infrastructure, and defending system of their own. All these characteristics make the region worth of being registered on the Cultural Heritage list. Uramanat’s agriculture, the style of which goes back to the first millennium BC, enjoys the quality to be registered on Iran’s National Heritage list. If the site is proposed as a Cultural site in the Tentative List of UNESCO, Med-O-Med has decided to give one more step considering the site as Cultural Landscape (associative and continuing landscape), taking into account its natural and cultural heritage (UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Article 1, 1972, Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, 2008).

2. NAME / LOCATION / ACCESSIBILITY

  • Current denomination Uramanat.
  • Current denomination Uramanat.
  • Original denomination Uramanat.
  • Popular denomination Uramanat.
  • Address: Uramanat Village- Kurdistan Province
  • Area, boundaries and surroundings: Uramanat Village- Kurdistan Province.

3. LEGAL ISSUES

  • Owner: Iranian Govermnent.
  • Body responsible for the maintenance: Iranian Govermnent.
  • Public or private organizations working in the site: The area is planned to undergo some anthropology and archaeological studies. Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran is completing the national registration process of the region.

4. HISTORY

Uramanat’s agriculture goes back to the first millennium BC.

5. GENERAL DESCRIPTION

5.1. Natural heritage

  • Heritage: Rural
  • Geography: High Mountain
  • Site topography: Natural
  • Geological and Geographical characteristics: The Uramanat Villages are located in the mountainous Kurdistan Province of Iran.
Land uses and economical activities:
Agriculture.
Agricultural issues or other traditional productions and their effect on the landscape:
Living a traditional life, Uramanat residents of the Kurd region of Iran still use agricultural styles of 2500 years ago.
Summary of Landscapes values and characteristics:

The Uramanat Villages are located in the mountainous Kurdistan Province of Iran. The villages are unique in terms of architecture, lifestyle, and agricultural methodology. Villages are integrated with nature by incorporating steep-slope agriculture.

5.2. Cultural Heritage

A) Related to current constructions, buildings and art pieces in general

Architectonical elements /Sculptures:

Architecture style completely integrated in the natural environment.

In the case of gardens: original and current style:
It is not the case.
B) Related to ancient remains

  • Traces in the environment of human activity: Agriculture.
C) Related to intangible, social and spiritual values

  • Population, ethnic groups: Uramanat valley, located in Kurdistan of Iran, is considered the main nucleus of Kurdistan. The area is planned to undergo some anthropology and archaeological studies. Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran is now completing the national registration process of the region.
  • Languages and dialects: Dialect of Kurdish language.
  • Lifestyle, believing, cults, traditional rites: The music and folk of this region is different from the other parts of Kurdistan as well. Folk dances have a special cultural value among the people of the region.

5.3. Quality

Perspectives/Views/ Points of interest/Setting:

-The villages: its architecture. -The valley and the natural environment. -The sharp slopes in agriculture.

6. VALUES

Tangible

  • Aesthetic
  • Living heritage
The main tangible values of "The Cultural Landscape of Uramanat" are aesthetic, architectonical and living heritage. The villages are unique in terms of architecture, lifestyle, and agricultural methodology. Villages are integrated with nature by incorporating steep-slope agriculture composing a beatiful landscape. -Architectonical/ Living heritage: Inhabitants of Uramanat region have maintained their traditional system of life and no fundamental changes have been done to this region yet, contributing to create a mixed landscape where the interaction between human-being and nature is obviously beatiful.

Intangible

  • Historical
The main intangible values of "The Cultural Landscape of Uramanat" are: -Historical: Some other tribes have had temporal effects on the region during the history, but Uramanat people have made the most influence in the Zagros region during the history. Using valleys for agriculture, irrigation systems for farms, bringing soil to the area from other parts, are all carried out in the same way from 2500 years ago in this region. -Social significance/Cultural: Uramanat valley, located in Kurdistan of Iran, is considered the main nucleus of Kurdistan by Adel Farhangi, an expert with Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, where people enjoy a dialect of Kurdish language, music, and dances specific to themselves also delivered to other areas of the province.
Authenticity:
-Statements of authenticity and/or integrity (UNESCO): Its authenticity and integrity can be seen in three contexts: language and dialect, lifestyle and its social administration that has a historical start point (a bas-relief) that cannot be found anywhere else. -Comparison with other similar properties (UNESCO): Utilization of very sharp slopes for agriculture has been seen in Japan and China. There exists a lot of soil over there but scarcely in Uramanat.
Universality:
The region enjoys a special, coherent system of culture, agriculture, way of thinking and behavior, infrastructure, and defending system of their own. All these characteristics make the region worth of being registered on the Cultural Heritage list. Uramanat’s agriculture, the style of which goes back to the first millennium BC, enjoys the quality to be registered on Iran’s National Heritage list. Med-O-Med agrees to the UNESCO criteria (i, iii, v) to define the site as a Cultual Landscape: i) The system of agriculture and irrigation, the architecture of the Uramanat villages, represent a masterpiece of human creative genius. iii) Uramanat villages bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living. v) The site is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement and land-use, which is representative of its own culture and the human interaction with the environment.
Values linked to the Islamic culture and civilisation:
The agricultural system, the irrigation system, the architectonical style, they are all samples of the Islamic tradition.

7. ENCLOSURES

Historical and graphical data (drawings, paintings, engravings, photographs, literary items…):

The Cultural Landscape of Uramanat is one of all of the cultural landscapes of Iran which are included in The Cultural Landscape inventory runned by Med-O-Med.

Bibliography:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5212/ http://whc.unesco.org/venice2002 http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2005/9/irankurdistan71.htm -United Nationals Environmental Programme. (1983). Rain and Water Harvesting in Rural Area. Tycooly International Publishing Limited, Dublin, pp 84-88. -UNESCO. (2001). Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage. World Heritage Committee. 25 session. Helsinki, Finland. -UNESCO. (2002). Cultural Landscapes: the Challenges of Conservation. Associated Workshops, World Heritage. Ferrara, Italy.

Compiler Data: Sara Martínez Frías.