Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Micronesia’s World Heritage Sites: the Nan Madol Ceremonial Center.
Nan Madol, “the Venice of the Pacific,” is one of the most remarkable archeological sites in Oceania:
The megalithic basalt stone structures of the more than 100 islets that form Nan Madol off the shore of Pohnpei Island comprise the remains of stone palaces, temples, mortuaries and residential domains. They represent the ceremonial centre of the Saudeleur dynasty, an era of vibrant Pacific island culture which underwent dramatic changes of settlement and social organisation 1200–1500 CE. Through its archaeological remains, Nan Madol is tangibly associated with Pohnpei’s continuing social and ceremonial traditions and the authority of the Nahnmwarki.
The outstanding monumental megalithic architecture of Nan Madol is demonstrated by the wall construction using massive columnar basalt stones, transported from quarries elsewhere on the island, and laid using a distinctive “header-stretcher technique.”
Nan Madol bears exceptional testimony to the development of chiefly societies in the Pacific Islands. The huge scale, technical sophistication and concentration of elaborate megalithic structures of Nan Madol bear testimony to complex social and religious practices of the island societies. (World Heritage Centre #1503)
The construction of the first artificial islets at the site is thought to have begun as early as the 700s.
You can find a gallery of additional photos of Nan Madol Ceremonial Center on the World Heritage Centre’s website.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list of World Heritage Sites online at the World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites, available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures are you exploring in your homeschool this Leo Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 752–859; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇫🇲
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historical and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌏