UNESCO’s World Heritages

UNESCO’s World Heritages & Archaeological sites

Beikthano  ( UNESCO)
The ruins lies some 20 km west of Taungdwingyi is not easily recognized by casual passers-by but the elderly local people remember that the fort walls stood much higher than now about half a century ago before the bricks were quarried for building roads and rail tracks. The excavations, though limited to twenty-five selected sites during six open seasons, reveal that the cultural equipment of the site is essentially Pyu in character.

Masonry structures with massive walls constructed of large sized bricks, un-inscribed silver coins bearing symbols of prosperity and good-luck, burial urns of plain and exquisite designs, beads of clay and semi precious stones, decorated domestic pottery, iron nails and bosses are among the finds which reveal convincing cultural links between Beikthano and the established Pyu site of Srikshetra. The burial urns are definite evidence of cultural relationship between Beikthano on the one hand and Srikshetra and Hanlin on the other. Innumerable urns unearthed at Srikshetra are of the same character as those from Beikthano as regards the contents and manner of burials. The antiquity 

of Beikthano is vouched by the recovery of un-inscribed coins or medals known Pyu coins. Though the number recovered by excavation is quite few, surface finds were also made by the local people from time to time. From these specimens it appears that not only the predominant type found at Srikshetra but also the type peculiar to Hanlin occurs at this site. In Myanmar these types of un-inscribed coins could be definitely attributed as one of the chief characteristics of Pyu culture.
Hanlin ( UNESCO)
An ancient site where Pyu culture flourished as early as the 2nd century A.D. It is located 17 km southeast of Shwebo. The located residents after coming across objects of antiquarian interest such as gold, silver and bronze objects, utensils, mirrors, coins and ornaments, which are usually melted down. Unlike Srikshetra or Beikthano where Hindu or Buddhist religions influenced with image worship, no traces could be found at Hanlin. Another interesting factor that prevailed at Hanlin indicates the practice of burial of corporeal remains as also burial of cremated remains in urns was in vogue. The brick-walled city complex is two miles long and a mile wide.

Srekestra ( UNESCO)
The ancient site of Srikestra lies 8 km north-east of Pyay in the village of Hmawza. It dates to the early Pyu kingdom that ruled the surrounding area from the 5th to 9th century AD. By the old palace site stands a small museum and a map of the area. Inside the museum is a collection of artifacts colleted from Thayekhittaya excavations, including royal funerary urns, stone relief's, a couple of bodhisattvas, statues of the Hindu deities Tara Devi, Vishnu and Lakshmi and several 6th century Buddha images, tile fragments, terracotta votive tablets and silver coins minted in the kingdom etc.

The Glass Palace Chronicle says that Myanmar history starts in Tagaung, some 300 years before the birth of Buddha [850 BC]. Situates 200 km up river north of Mandalay. But then it is quite a civilized period, with cities, kings, farmers, workers and festivals. Tagaung still exit as a big village and can be reached by Ayeyarwaddy  river from Mandalay.

Padalin Cave
Situates in the Panlaung reserved forest area in Ywangan township in Taunggyi district at precisely latitude 21º61½´N and longitude 96º18´E. The distance to Padahlin from Nyaunggyat village is four miles whereas from Yebok it is only a mile away. The caves lie in the jungle-clad mountains and are situated at a height of 1000 ft above sea level. The terrain is rough and rugged. Being limestone caves the interior abounds in stalagmites and stalactites.

The excavation at Padhlin yielded a horde of artifacts and other finds. Innumerable stone implements, hundreds of animal bone fragments, a few human fossils, shells of land mollusks, charcoal pieces, mounds of clay, etc were discovered. The stone implements and the fauna remains testify the age of Padahlin to be Neolithic. Together with these priceless treasures several cave paintings from the depths of prehistory were also brought to light. Let us take a glimpse at these paintings found on the walls of Padahlin. The mural paintings done in a linear and compact fashion adorn the walls of Padahlin. They were drawn at a height of 10 to 12 feet above floor level in the smaller eastern cave. They were painted in the middle part of the wall which divides the rocks. The drawings of these cave dwellers numbered about a dozen images. They were all done in red ochre circles in the open palm, a huge fish, a deer, bisons, bulls followed at their heels by a calf, a human skull? and probably the rear part of an elephant. On the high cavern ceiling they drew the sun between two converging irregular lines.

From the few paintings found at Padahlin one might well argue that the artist had a fine eye for detail. They also had a gifted hand and creative capacity. These paintings seem to have been their act of lateral thinking. Otherwise stated it must never been the outward manifestation of their thoughts- a feat rather rare for their time. They were remarkably talented souls.

Like the paintings at Padahlin the cave drawings at Lascaux in France, (which has been called "the Sistine chaple of prehistoric art)" and Altamira in Spain also portrayed human hands and more or less similar animals. Painted handprints of early men are also seen on the walls of the Cosquer cave on the French Riviera. Again images of human hands, some in red, others in black pigment were found recently in the Chauvet limestone cave near Avignon, France.

Unlike the Padahlin and Lascaux cave paintings, the Palaeolithic cave drawing at Chauvet pullulates with images of predatory and dangerous species such as cave bears, panthers, lions, wooly rhinoceroses and hyenas. But like the Laxcaux and Cyhauvet cavern images the preponderance of animal figures over human form is discernible at Padahlin.

Though open to conjecture the general consensus is that the legacy of cave paintings at Padahlin must surely have been more than what was found in 1968. It might be surmised that the elements, the deposition of calcium carbonate on the walls and the acid smoke emitted from the fire used for cooking and warming themselves must have obliterated and destroyed a great part of the treasure trove.

Whatever the case may be it is evident that our forebears of Pakahlin and the prehistoric ancestors of Europe had used the large cave walls of their time as big doodling sheets. On these vast expanses they had left their visual reflections. It was most thoughtful of them to leave their art in permanent places - the walls of their respective caverns. Despite the similarities and differences in representing art, these Homo Sapiens had definitely left their prehistoric possessions in the sands of time.

The Bronze-Age culture heritage site is located near Nyaunggan Village, Budalin Township, Sagaing Division, about 50 km from Monywar. The site is situated on a crater of a dormant volcano, which is about 6.5 km northeast of the famous Twintaung. There are 5 excavation sites so far, where you can find burial mounds of our ancestors. In these excavation sites human skeletal remains were found together with pots of various size and shapes, stone rings, beads, socket bronze axes and some animal bones. This is an extraordinary prehistoric culture, which was found as the missing link between Stone Age and Iron Age culture, and the first discovery of a Bronze-age Burial site in Myanmar.