The Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site in Brazil is now a World Heritage Site. (Photo credit: MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)
By NAN Travel Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. July 11, 2017: The lone new UNESCO heritage site in Latin America was revealed Monday.
The UNESCO World Heritage List for 2017 includes only one site in Latin America. It is the Valongo Wharf, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
UNESCO officials met in Poland to examine new proposals for inscription on its World Heritage List and yesterday approved the Valongo Wharf world heritage status along with 21 other sites globally.
Millions of slaves from Africa took their first steps in Brazil through the stones of Valongo Wharf which was active from the end of the 18th century to the mid-19th century. The archaeological site is located in central Rio de Janeiro and encompasses the entirety of Jornal do Comércio Square.
It is in the former harbour area of Rio de Janeiro in which the old stone wharf was built for the landing of enslaved Africans reaching the South American continent from 1811 onwards.
An estimated 900,000 Africans arrived in South America via Valongo. The physical site is composed of several archaeological layers, the lowest of which consists of floor pavings in pé de moleque style, attributed to the original Valongo Wharf. It is the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent.