Poverty Point State Historic Site and National Monument in West Carroll Parish has been nominated to become a World Heritage Site, announced Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on Thursday.
If approved by the World Heritage Committee, the prehistoric earthworks would join the Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty, Stonehenge, the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef on the list of 962 sites in 157 countries designated as the most significant cultural and natural sites on the planet, according to a news release from the Department of the Interior.
Located in northeastern Louisiana northeast of Epps, La., Poverty Point is a vast, integrated complex of earthen monuments, constructed 3,100 – 3,700 years ago.
It consists of six enormous, concentric earthen ridges with an outer diameter of more than a half mile, and several large mounds, including one of the largest in North America. This constructed landscape was the largest and most elaborate of its time on the continent; the particular form of the complex is not duplicated anywhere else in the world. The site is especially notable because it was built by a settlement of hunter-gatherers, not an agricultural society, according to the news release.
The nomination document was prepared by the State of Louisiana in consultation with the National Park Service’s Office of International Affairs and submitted through the U.S. Department of State to the offices of the World Heritage Centre in Paris, France. The UNESCO World Heritage List is part of the World Heritage Convention, an international treaty signed by 190 countries for natural site conservation and cultural site preservation first proposed by the United States government in 1972.