Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mayan pyramid bulldozed by road construction firm

Belize pyramid dating back at least 2,300 years is destroyed by firm to extract crushed rock for road-building project.

 A digger claws away at the sloping sides of the Mayan pyramid in Belize 

A digger claws away at the sloping sides of the Mayan pyramid in Belize. Photograph: Jaime Awe/AP.
 
A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids with diggers and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project, authorities have announced.

The head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, Jaime Awe, said on Tuesday that the destruction at the Nohmul complex in northern Belize was detected late last week. The ceremonial centre dates back at least 2,300 years and is the most important site in northern Belize, near the border with Mexico.

"It's a feeling of incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity … they were using this for road fill," Awe said. "It's like being punched in the stomach, it's just so horrendous."

Nohmul was in the middle of a privately owned sugar cane field, and lacked the even stone sides frequently seen in reconstructed or better-preserved pyramids. But Awe said the builders could not possibly have mistaken the pyramid mound, which is about 30 metres (100ft) tall, for a natural hill because the ruins were well known and the landscape there was naturally flat.

For the rest of the story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/14/mayan-pyramid-bulldozed-road-construction?CMP=twt_fd

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