The Directorate of Archaeology department is still trying to secure UNESCO’s World Heritage Site status for the petroglyphs on the walls of the Edakkal caves on the Ambukuthy hills in Wayanad, Minister for Museums, Archaeology and Archives Ahammad Devarkovil has said.
Speaking after inaugurating a three-day workshop organised by the Directorate of Archaeology on conservation, preservation, and management of Edakkal petroglyphs and the first meeting of the expert committee constituted by the government to conduct a detailed study on the archaeological site and suggest measures for its conservation at Sulthan Bathery on Friday, Mr. Ahammed said the archeological site was one of the very few sites in the State eligible for getting the status.
According to the norms set by the UNESCO, if any archeological site fulfilled one of the 10 criteria set by it, the site would get the world heritage status, Mr. Ahammad said. As the Edakkal caves had fulfilled more than one criteria set by the UNESCO, there was no doubt that the site would secure the heritage status, the Minister said.
The threats being faced by the site such as urbanisation around the megalithic site, soil erosion on the petroglyphs, and granite mining around the site, should be discussed and banned, Mr. Ahammad said.
The nine-member committee consisting of experts in archaeology, history, geology, rock mechanics, and conservation would conduct a detailed study on the present state of the archaeological site and suggest measures for its conservation, Mr. Ahammed said, adding that the government would execute the recommendations of the committee in a time-bound manner.