April 26, 2016: During the week of November 16 to 20, 2015, the World Heritage Ohio Steering Committee hosted an “ICOMOS Advisory Mission” – a visit by Margaret Gowen, an archaeologist from Ireland and expert on the UNESCO World Heritage inscription process. She toured all the earthworks that are part of our prospective nomination, joined by Stephen Morris and Phyllis Ellin of the US National Park Service’s Office of International Affairs. The Mission was arranged at the request of ICOMOS officials, in order to provide us with clear direction on how best to position our efforts on site integrity, visitor experience, modern uses and preservation, and related issues.
The report from this visit affirmed strongly the world-heritage-worthiness of the earthwork sites, and advised specifically on what would likely be acceptable solutions to some of the management, protection, and visitor-experience problems we are dealing with. Following this report, we are now in discussions with the NPS-OIA about creating a specific, step-by-step process plan for solving these issues, and for completing the nomination dossier at the highest possible standard of quality. This plan (in the form of an MOU) is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.