Belize Construction Company Bulldozes 2,300-Year-Old Mayan Pyramid to Use Gravel as Road Fill Material

By @vitthernandez on

The world definitely did not end on Dec 21, 2012 as wrongly predicted by the Mayan long count calendar, but the days of a 2,300-year-old Mayan pyramid in Belize did last week because of ignorant contractors.

Reports said that the Noh Mul site in northern Belize was  being leveled down to the ground by a local contractor using backhoes and bulldozers to use the ground remains of the landmark as road fill material.

John Morris, archeologist of Belize's Institute of Archeology, said the incident is the worst he has experienced in 25 years in the profession. "We can't salvage what has happened out here - it is an incredible display of ignorance," he told CNN.

He insisted the ancient landmark could not be mistaken for an abandoned site even if it had trees and brush growing on it. "There is no way that one can say that they did not know. Even for you guys as laypeople can look and you'll see the building," 7NewsBelize quoted Mr Morris.

The 100-foot-tall pyramid is part of the Nohmul complex, the most important site in northern Belize. It served as the centre of a settlement of 40,000 people and 81 buildings spanning 12 square miles built around 250 BC using hand-cut limestone bricks, according to archeologists.

The contractors must have been attracted by the limestone, which is a known quality material to upgrade roads and is prized by contractors, a local legislator explained.

By tearing down the pyramid, the contractor saved on diesel, wear and tear of equipment and money, the lawmaker added.

Despite the destruction of the temple, archeologists said they will try to sift through the rubble to scour for remaining artifacts.

The Belize police said they had stopped the excavation, will hold an investigation and file criminal charges against the construction company.

Other Mayan landmarks are being destroyed across Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize, said Francisco Estrada-Belli, a professor at the Tulane University's Anthropology Department. 

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