Stone spheres are a step closer to U.N. designation

The U.N. World Heritage Center has approved the candidacy of Costa Rica’s famous stone spheres, and action is expected in June to enroll the area in the list of World Heritage sites.

The favorable report came from the  Consejo Internacional de Monumentos y Sitios. Involved are four locations in the south Pacific coast in the canton of Osa where the pre-Columbian residents produced the giant balls from about 300 to 1,500 A.D. No one knows exactly why. Some experts think the balls were status symbols.

The Museo Nacional has just opened a satellite museum in the area. Officials and residents of the area hope that U.N. designation will boost tourism. The sites are  Finca 6, Batambal, El Silencio and Grijalba–2.

The designation has taken some time. After Costa Rica sought the designation in January 2013, a team of experts came in August to evaluate the site.

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