Petroglyphs at Usgalimal, South Goa, make it to tentative list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites

The pre-historic rock carving gallery, located on the banks of the River Kushavati, in Usgalimal, South Goa, is inching closer to getting UNESCO's World Heritage Tag
Petroglyphs at Usgalimal, South Goa, make it to tentative list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites
Rock carving of a labyrinth, at Usgalimal Gomantak Times

Goa’s oldest rock art site, at Usgalimal, along with eight other sites from Maharashtra state, have made it to the tentative list of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage list as ‘Geoglyphs of Konkan Region of India’.

The proposal was submitted by the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO on February 17, 2022, under the ‘cultural’ category and was accepted by UNESCO. It has now entered the tentative listing process.

Speaking to GT, Assistant superintending archeologist at the directorate of archives and archeology, Goa, Varad Sabnis said "We are just in the first step of the process, which is the tentative list. It is a joint proposal by the archeology department of Maharashtra and Goa.”

“They've identified the hotspot of the rock art carving sites along the Konkan belt, and submitted the proposal to the government of India, who sent it UNESCO. It got accepted in the tentative list, now,” Sabnis said.

Rock carving of an animal, at Usgalimal
Rock carving of an animal, at UsgalimalGomantak Times

He further added that the actual process will start after a year, when all the researched material and other documentations will be submitted, after which, the UNESCO committee will do the research and announce the final results.

A total of 9 sites from the Konkan region of India have been listed under 'Geoglyphs of Konkan Region of India’, out of which, 8 are fromMaharashtra, namely Kasheli, RundhyeTali, Devache Gothane, Barsu, Devi Hasol, Jambharun, Kudopi, Ukshi, and 1 site is from Goa, ie Usgalimal also known as Pansaimol.

GETTING A UNESCO LISTING

These rock art sites in India give a glimpse of the country’s earliest human creativity. The one found along the Konkan coast are one of the largest concentrations of geoglyphs on the laterite plateaus (Sada) of the Konkan region (from south western Maharashtra to Southern Karnataka), and are an ensemble of prehistoric human expression of rock art in the region.

The tentative listing is just the first step to be included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and is done by countries that have signed the World Heritage Convention, pledging protection of their natural and cultural heritage.

In order to be included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, sites need to be of outstanding universal value, and meet at selection criteria of UNESCO.

Rock carving of a labyrinth, at Usgalimal
Exploring Goa’s best kept secret – the petroglyphs

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