Tajikistan is one of the countries in Central Asia that attracts with its authentic lifestyle and rich culture. The two best natural and historical sites of Tajikistan have been recently included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites thus making the country even more valuable and attractive.
UNESCO Sites in Tajikistan: Proto-urban Site of Sarazm
The first site that was included in the list was Sarazm, one of the most ancient settlements of Central Asia inhabited in the 4th millennium BCE. Sarazm translated as “where the land begins” is located in a large valley and surrounded by mountains. It was a perfect location for cattle rearing and agriculture. The ruins of Sarazm perfectly demonstrate the development of proto-urbanization of the region, trading relations of the tribes that extended from Central Asia to the Iranian plateau and even Indus valley.
The settlement continued its development up to Bronze Age extending activities like handcrafting and metallurgy. Sarazm played an important role in the region for a long time producing weapons, tools, ceramics, and jewellery. It is probably one of the places where the trans-Eurasian trade route started.
Proto-urban Site of Sarazm was left untouched in its initial way and only the natural processes affected its look. In 2000 Sarazm got the status of Historical and Archaeological Reserve by the decision of the government of Tajikistan. The cultural site was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2010.
UNESCO Sites in Tajikistan: Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs)
Tajik National Park was established in 1992 and it was the first in USSR. It is located on the territory of over 2.5 million hectares covering 18% of the entire territory of Tajikistan. The reserve is a steppe grassland dessert. It is located in the centre of “Pamir Knot”, where the highest mountain ranges of the Eurasian continent meet. To the east, there are a high plateau and 7000 meters high rugged peaks to the west. Such diversity of landscapes means extreme variations of temperature. Overall, the mountains of the Pamirs are covered with snow all year round. Pamir mountains are the third highest mountain system after Himalaya and Karakorum.
Tajik National Park includes several natural phenomena; the largest Fedchenko Glacier, high mountain lake Sarez that formed the highest natural Uzoi Dam and the highest large Karakul Lake. The unique value of the protected area is the deepest gorges completing the Pamir Plateau, mountain lakes, glaciated peaks, rivers, and alpine desert.
Today the ecosystem of the national park is under threat because of global warming. It is losing its biodiversity, the glaciers are rapidly melting causing most species of wildlife to migrate. The natural site was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2013.
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