Saturday, November 12, 2005

Wadi Hitan

An article about the prehistoric marine life in the Wadi Hitan by Hassan Saadallah. "It might be strange to know that Fayyoum, the large fertile depression in the desert, used to have a large number of whales, fish and dolphins specifically at Wadi Hitan (Valley of the Whales).It was a few months ago that Wadi Hitan was included on the UNESCO list of international natural heritage. The site which is the first Egyptian and sixth Arab one on the list will not be the last because the Ministry of Environmental Affairs is working on another 26 potential sites that could be gradually put on the list of natural heritage.Since the early 20th century, the area has been the focus of scientific attention. Studies show that Wadi Hitan incorporates 406 skeletons of whales of which 205 are complete in addition to skeletons of mammals, sharks, mermaids and dolphins.The coordinated efforts of the Geology Museum, the Geological Survey Authority, the Environmental Affairs Agency and Egyptian universities have rendered an all-embracing study of Wadi Al Hitan, which ultimately entitled the site for inclusion on the international list.Generally speaking, Egypt has joined the UNESCO agreement of international heritage in l975. According to the list, there are more than 570 accredited cultural sites across the world compared to l30 sites of natural heritage in addition to 30 sites that combines both cultural and natural heritage".
This page will only be on the Egyptian Gazette website for the next week and will change next Saturday, so to read the full article please visit it in the next few days.

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