Belize road crew tears down 2,300 year old Mayan pyramid

Well, this is a mess than cannot be undone. While we all worried today mostly about Google I/O and what would be announced at the annual conference for geeks, news was coming out of Central American country Belize that had a much sadder note to it. It seems a road crew decided an ancient Mayan relic was in its way — or at least would provide needed gravel for a project.

According National Geographic’s Elizabeth Snodgrass “a construction company in Belize has been scooping stone out of the major pyramid at the site of Nohmul (meaning Big Mound), one of only 15 ancient Maya sites important enough to be noted on the National Geographic World Atlas”. The ruins have been dated to 300 BC, perhaps even earlier by some estimates.

Now it seems that nearly the entire main pyramid, which once stood over 60 feet tall, has been destroyed by road building crews, according to John Morris, associate director of research at Belize’s Institute of Archaeology.

Having traveled in the area just north of this site, visiting the ruins of both Tulum and Chichzen Itza, I feel for this terrible loss. The site can obviously not be restored, but hopefully such tragic events can be prevented in the future.