Ốc đảo Al-Ahsa – Di sản văn hóa thế giới ở Ả Rập Saudi

In the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, the Al-Ahsa Oasis is a continuous cultural property consisting of gardens, canals, springs, wells and drainage lakes, as well as historic buildings, urban structures and archaeological sites. They represent the traces of human settlement in the Gulf region from the Neolithic period to the present, as evidenced by historic forts, mosques, wells, canals and other remaining water management systems. With 2.5 million date palms, this is the largest oasis in the world. Al-Ahsa is also a unique cultural and geographical landscape, and a special example of the interaction between humans and the environment. Year of recognition: 2018. Criteria: (iii) (iv) (v). Area: 8,544 ha. Buffer zone: 21,556 ha.

The Al-Ahsa Oasis is located in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, bordered to the north by the province of Abqaiq, to the east by the Gulf, to the west by the Ad-Dahna desert and to the south by the Ar- Rub’ Al-Khali (Empty Quarter). The oasis landscape has developed over millennia, reflecting the typical lifestyle of the Gulf region on the Arabian Peninsula. This cultural landscape includes gardens, canals, springs, wells, agricultural drainage lakes and historic buildings. The Al-Ahsa Oasis consists of twelve parts that make up the world’s largest oasis with over 2.5 million palm trees, urban structures, and ancient archaeological sites representing the development of an ancient cultural tradition and traces of human settlement in the Gulf region of the Arabian Peninsula from the Neolithic period until the present.

The landscape of Al-Ahsa in the past and present represents different stages in the development of the oasis and the interaction of cultural and natural heritage. Criterion (iii) illustrates the continuity of the Oasis’ agricultural traditions through an organic cultural landscape with a water distribution system based on the natural flow of water through open canals. The cultural landscape of the Al-Ahsa Oasis embodies the vitality and modernity of this particular land use tradition and demonstrates its continuous appropriateness at the local and regional scales. Criterion (iv) includes this extensive cultural landscape, which includes various areas such as gardens, mountains, caves, villages, mosques and springs, as well as archaeological sites and a small part of the historic center of Al-Hofuf, with main monuments that demonstrate its political control of the region and its commercial role over many centuries.

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The traces of villages, forts, mosques, markets and residences, although often in a ruinous state, still retain a complete catalog of architectural elements that make up the urban settlement of Al-Ahsa from the early days of Islam to the modern Saudi Arabia. Criterion (v): The oasis is a remarkable example of traditional human settlement developed in a desert environment, reflecting the close relationship between the landscape, natural resources and human efforts to cultivate the land. The abundant groundwater near the surface allowed the development of a large settlement on the oasis. Water originates from surface springs and is tapped to a shallow groundwater table. Some of these springs and wells are still visible in the area, a living memory of traditional farming techniques.

The integrity of the property demonstrates the sustainable development of the oasis and the related human settlements, where the physical and functional relationships between natural landscape, water sources, canal systems, villages, and cities created a continuous artificially created oasis environment. Today, the Al-Ahsa Oasis is still the largest agricultural area in the Arabian Peninsula and a living and working environment directly related to its origin and past. The property’s components own clear terrain integrity, embodying a set of distinctive elements and creating a large oasis: water springs, caves, mountains, plains, modern canal systems and historic water-supply mechanisms, human settlements and natural drainage areas.

The continued use of the oasis as the main agricultural area, where high-quality dates are produced and exported worldwide, and the resilience of traditional traditions and elements built from previous eras, are testimony to the integrity of preserving both agricultural and urban / commercial functions of the oasis. Throughout millennia, while continuously developing, the integrity of the relationships between palm forests, water sources and canals, human settlements and natural landscapes has not changed, adapting to the needs of human society that have developed in the area. Changes in water distribution and water extraction over the past 40 years aimed at maintaining the agricultural function of the oasis. The exceptional integrity of this natural / urban landscape can still be fully appreciated from a bird’s-eye view, with “seas” of palm trees and gardens stretching almost endlessly in all directions. All aspects of integrity (components, relationships, and functions of attributes) are necessary…

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