Prehistoric Moroccan heritage honoured at UNESCO


Morocco Minister of Culture, Youth and Communications, Mehdi Bensaid

PRETORIA, (CAJ News) – MOROCCO is preserving its prehistoric heritage that makes the North African country a renowned cradle of humankind.

This is in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

A deep desire to ensure that it highlights the various categories of its multi-millennial heritage and to make an effective intellectual contribution to the concept of heritage of humanity drives Morocco.

Officially the Kingdom of Morocco, it recently launched an exhibition and symposium at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, placed under the patronage of King Mohammed VI.

The participation of researchers and specialists in prehistoric sciences from various Moroccan and international academic institutions added to the fanfare of the launch.

Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, and the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, attended the launch.

André Azoulay, adviser of the King, Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN organisation, Samir Addahre, Morocco Ambassador to Paris, Mohamed Benchaaboune, and the President of the National Foundation of Museums of Morocco, Mehdi Qotbi, joined them.

Ambassadors of several countries to UNESCO, personalities from the arts and culture as well as specialists in prehistoric sciences also attended.

The opening of the exhibition and symposium, intended to present the richness and diversity of the Kingdom’s prehistoric heritage and highlight recent archaeological discoveries.

Azoulay stressed the importance of the international event of prehistory that continues to “question what we are, what we have in common, our place in the scale of time and in the scale of life.”

“I’m very pleased that this high-level scientific dialogue is being held at UNESCO in a field of study and research that is booming and needs international perspectives,” Azoulay said.

“This field also needs to cross disciplines to advance knowledge, because prehistory, which is a heritage of humanity, is far from being a frozen and mythical moment.”

Azoulay welcomed Morocco’s support for UNESCO’s efforts in various areas of its competence, including hosting several forums and conferences.

The seventh International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII) was also recently held in Marrakech.

Morocco also invited UNESCO to the upcoming annual conference on intangible heritage.

“In Morocco, we are proud of the archaeological discoveries that we present today,” Bensaid stated.

“We are also aware of the scientific challenges they represent and the problems posed by their preservation (…) and the stake they symbolize, allowing us to read entire chapters of the history of humanity and the world,” he added.

The minister said the findings are priceless, which leave to posterity unique messages, left hundreds of thousands of years ago by the societies of Homo Sapiens.

They are the oldest known to date.

“It remains necessary to understand how a species, Homo Sapiens, has managed to rise and build a civilization by writing its own history, ours,” Bensaid said.

“It is a priority to ensure that this flame illuminate the paths that lead to our collective memory, without ever losing sight of the permanence of things. It is up to current generations to transmit, to preserve intact this prehistoric heritage, which has crossed the time for future generations.”

On the same occasion, Morocco donated to UNESCO replicas of the skull of the oldest Homo Sapiens in the world.

Said to date back to 350 000 years ago, it was discovered in Jebel Ochoud in Youssoufia.

Morocco also donated the oldest pieces of jewellery in the world, dating back 142 000 to 150 000 years.

They were discovered in the Bizmoune cave in Essaouira.

– CAJ News









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