The Belize government is furious after a road-building company destroyed a 2,300-year-old Mayan pyramid for road-fill, reports CBS News.
The pyramid, known as “Nohmul,” was reduced to rubble last week by backhoes and bulldozers. The site was a bit overgrown, but Jaime Awe, head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, said that it is impossible that the builders mistook the pyramid for a natural hill.
The government said on Tuesday that it is pursuing an investigation into the road-building company to determine exactly how it happened. The company demolished the pyramid to extract crushed limestone for a road project. Nohmul dates all the way back to 350 BCE.
“This is one of the worst that I have seen in my entire 25 years of archaeology in Belize,” archaeologist John Morris, told local channel 7NewsBelize. “We can’t salvage what has happened out here — it is an incredible display of ignorance.”
People’s United Party also denounced the destruction of the historical site and said that the country’s tourism industry could be hurt by the company’s carelessnesss.
“The demolition of ancient Maya temples is deplorable, as these are not only important elements of our Belizean history and culture but an integral component of a developing tourism industry,” the party said in a statement.
It is reported that this is not the first time Belize has had a problem with companies destroying Mayan pyramids. The country is covered in forest and littered with ancient temples made out of rich material. However, the destruction of Nohmul is the biggest yet.