Dams have significant adverse effects on heritage through the loss of local cultural and archaeological sites and resources. For instance Ilisu Dam will destroy more than 300 archaeological sites, including the 11,000 year-old historic town of Hasankeyf which is the only place in the world that meets nine out of 10 criteria for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Dams also cause loss or damage of cultural heritage through land reclamation and irrigation projects and the construction of power lines, roads, railways and workers towns. In most cases, no measures have been taken to minimise or mitigate the loss of cultural and archaeological resources.
Diminishing centuries-old cultural traditions, dams also threaten intangible culture heritage: traditions or living expressions inherited from ancestors and passed on to descendants of the local communities, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe which can not be compensated in any possible way.
Belo Monte in Amazon and Ilisu in Mesopotamia would destroy centuries-old traditions and invaluable arcehological sites forever if both dams are built.