In collaboration with the
International Astronomical Union

International Council on Monuments and Sites

International Astronomical Union


Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy
in the Context of the World Heritage Convention

Thematic Study no. 2


This, the second ICOMOS–IAU Thematic Study on astronomical heritage, examines a number of key questions relating to astronomical heritage sites and their potential recognition as World Heritage, attempting to identify what might constitute “outstanding universal value” in relation to astronomy. It represents the culmination of several years' work to address some of the most challenging issues raised in the first ICOMOS-IAU Thematic Study, published in 2010.


Download the entire eBook edition (19Mb)


A printed edition, published on 30 November 2017, is available from Oxbow Books.


Below, you can view the contents and download individual chapters and case studies. The latter form the basis of various case studies on the portal, but the portal versions may have been revised and updated.


Front pages, including Preface, Acknowledgements, Further information, and List of Authors 
Introduction. Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte 
Windows to the Universe and potential criteria in the World Heritage Convention context. Michel Cotte 
Seven-stone antas, Portugal and Spain. Juan Belmonte, Luís Tirapicos and Clive Ruggles
Stonehenge World Heritage Property, United Kingdom. Amanda Chadburn and Clive Ruggles
Chankillo, Peru. Iván Ghezzi
Astronomical timing of irrigation in Oman. Harriet Nash
L’Observatoire de Paris, France. Danielle Fauque et Michel Cotte
Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, Republic of South Africa. Ian Glass
Pic du Midi de Bigorre Observatory, France. Nicolas Bourgeois
Windows to the Universe: leading optical observatories and their dark skies, Chile, Spain, and United States of America. Cipriano Marín, Malcolm Smith and Richard Wainscoat
Aoraki–Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand. Margaret Austin, John Hearnshaw and Alison Loveridge
Eastern Alpine and Großmugl starlight areas, Austria. Günther Wuchterl
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Mikhail Marov
Discussion. Clive Ruggles