The State Parliament of Schleswig-Holstein decided to nominate Hedeby and the Danevirke for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The State Archaeology Department of Schleswig-Holstein, as the competent state authority responsible for the protection and preservation of the archaeological monuments, coordinated the nomination under its longstanding Director Prof. Dr. Claus von Carnap-Bornheim in close collaboration with municipalities, cities, districts as well as various institutions and organisations.
The first attempt was a so-called transnational serial nomination that comprised several countries and sites. They included the Viking-Age World Heritage Sites that had already been inscribed on the World Heritage List, such as Thingvellir in Iceland, Jelling in Denmark and Birka in Sweden. Eventually, an international nomination proposal under the title “Viking Age Sites in Northern Europe” was submitted together with Denmark, Latvia and Norway under the responsibility of Iceland. Sweden initially participated as well, but dropped out later on. In 2015, the nomination proposal was referred back to the applicants by the World Heritage Committee for revision and then no longer pursued.
The State Archaeological Department drew up a new nomination proposal at short notice that focused only on Hedeby and the Danevirke as a unique Viking trade hub and border fortification.
The nomination proposal was submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in January 2017 and reviewed and recommended for inscription by ICOMOS in autumn 2017 and spring 2018.
In 2018, Hedeby and the Danevirke were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List at the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Bahrain as “The Archaeological Border complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke”.