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Team of international experts decides to assess the status of historical places in Thatta

Makli Hill Thatta
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Thatta is an ancient city in the Indus delta. The city is situated about 100 kilometers from Karachi, Pakistan via the national highway. It had great importance in history and today, is famous for it’s archaeological sites and centuries old monuments, which are great tourist attractions. The most famous of these sites is the Makli Hill, which is the largest necropolis in the world by area and about three kilometers from Thatta. Because of it’s cultural and archaeological importance, in the 1980s UNESCO listed the Makli necropolis as a World Heritage Site.

Do you know: Thatta was the capital of three successive dynasties. These dynasties are: Samma (1335-1520), Arghun (1520-1555) and Tarkhan (1555-1665). (Source: Wikipedia)

The city of Thatta held an important position in the history of Sindh and underwent many structural changes from the 14th to the 18th century. But in 1739, when the province of Sindh was taken over by Nadir Shah of Persia, Thatta entered a period of extreme decline. However the four centuries that comprise the golden age of Thatta, have left their trace in the form of monuments in the region.

A joint World Heritage Centre and International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Reactive Monitoring mission will be undertaken in the near future (dates of which are still to be confirmed), to assess the overall status of historical places in Thatta. The idea of initiating this joint calling is because of several factors that constitute a serious threat to the ancient property. The team will review different places, assess the current state of the property, and also provide advice and recommendations to the state.


The international team will hold several important consultation sessions with the relevant authorities at both federal and provincial levels and all other relevant stakeholders, including NGOs. The mission team will also prepare a joint report that sets out recommendations by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS on the basis of the following:

  • Review the state of conservation of the said property, including factors that constitute a serious threat to the property and the conservation of Tomb of Jam Nizamuddin,
  • Provide advice to the State Party with the completion and implementations of the Master Plan,
  • Assist the State Party with further developing and prioritizing activities listed in the Master Plan.

The final report and the working documents based on this assessment will be examined by the World Heritage Committee at it’s 40th session which will take place from 10 to 20 July 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The historical monuments at Thatta, Sindh are authentic in terms of their forms and design, materials, substance, and locations and setting. Because elements of the property are in an advanced state of decay and disintegration, the authenticity of the property is threatened, particularly concerning the materials and forms of the monuments. However the valuable decision of Reactive Monitoring mission from World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS will prove to be a great step to reduce the threats to the historical property and irremediable damage.

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