Mayan pyramid bulldozed, Belize City: A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids with backhoes and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project.
The head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, Jaime Awe,
said the destruction at the Nohmul complex in northern Belize was
detected late last week. The ceremonial centre dates back at least 2300
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,"
Mr Awe said. "It's like being punched in the stomach, it's just so
Nohmul sat 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 Mr Awe said the builders could not
possibly have mistaken the pyramid mound, which is about 30 metres tall,
for a natural hill because the ruins were well-known and the landscape
there is naturally flat.
"These guys knew that this was an ancient structure. It's just bloody laziness," Mr Awe said.
Photos from the scene showed backhoes clawing away at the
pyramid's sloping sides, leaving an isolated core of limestone cobbles
at the centre, with what appears to be a narrow Mayan chamber dangling
above one clawed-out section.