BY HANEEN RAFI
KARACHI: More than 1,000 historical sites in Sindh have been painstakingly documented and made part of an electronic database, which was handed over to the Sindh government at a ceremony on Tuesday.
The Heritage Foundation of Pakistan and the RWTH Aachen University of Germany have worked together for over three years to create this databank that focuses on establishing an authentic inventory of cultural sites in the province.
Detailed information of the 1,162 notified heritage sites of Sindh is part of a vast periphery of work that has been carried out in the province by local and international organisations. For architect Yasmin Lari, one of the project directors, “This database is about saving Sindh’s tangible heritage through management and safeguarding mechanisms.”
Though Sindh is one of the oldest civilisations, enjoying a legacy of Sufism and mysticism, folklore and oral histories, the cultural sites within it are in a state of neglect and are wearing out much faster than anticipated. This loss is not just of a tangible heritage, but also of an intangible one, which Ms Lari stresses should be halted.
Cultural sites in Badin, Dadu, Hyderabad, Ghotki, Jacobabad and Jamshoro are included in the databank. However, the most marked ones are the Moenjodaro and Makli sites, which are part of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s world heritage list.
Dr Michael Jansen, the project director representing Aachen University, said: “The most important question is how to integrate the value of the jewels of Sindh into a strategic programme for further economic and social development.”