Uramanat villages are unique in that the rural area embraces many dense and step-like rows of houses in such a way that the roof of each house forms the yard of the upper one, making it a special sight to see. The remote and mountainous landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat bears testimony to the traditional culture of the Hawrami people, an agropastoral Kurdish tribe that has inhabited the region since about 3000 BCE. The property, at the heart of the Zagros Mountains along the western border of Iran, encompasses two components, the Central-Eastern Valley and the Western Valley. This site was first added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on August 9, 2007. On July 27, 2021, it along with part of the Hawraman region was officially inscribed on the World Heritage List as a cultural site under the name “Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat”.
Uramanat villages are unique in terms of architecture, lifestyle, and agricultural methodology
The architecture of the houses has a unique design, and it is quite unbelievable how people thought about this brilliant engineering back then. The idea of the stepped village was inspired by nature. The interesting fact about the design of this stepped village is the way that each house’s roof is the upper house’s yard. Some of these houses have two-story, depending on the family that lives there: the bottom floor is specified for storage and the flocks, and the upper floors are the locals’ houses.
The mode of human habitation in these two valleys has been adapted over millennia to the rough mountainous environment. Tiered steep-slope planning and architecture, gardening on dry-stone terraces, livestock breeding, and seasonal vertical migration are among the distinctive features of the local culture and life of the semi-nomadic Hawrami people who dwell in lowlands and highlands during different seasons of each year. Their uninterrupted presence in the landscape, which is also characterized by exceptional biodiversity and endemism, is evidenced by stone tools, caves, rock shelters, mounds, remnants of permanent and temporary settlement sites, workshops, cemeteries, roads, villages, castles, and more. The 12 villages included in the property illustrate the Hawrami people’s evolving responses to the scarcity of productive land in their mountainous environment through the millennia.