One of my favorite places on the planet is Belize. Love the people, love the food and love the jungles and beaches, but sometimes things happen that just make you sick to your stomach.
Recently, Belize allowed something to happen that is a huge black mark for the country and it’s people. An invaluable, irreplaceable piece of history was destroyed. Destroyed uselessly and not for even a slim margin of a good reason. A massive Mayan pyramid was destroyed for its rocks. Yes, ancient cut stones of the pyramid were destroyed for the stone, and not even to build something meaningful or even visual out of the stone, but for road base. Yes, the 2000 plus year old stone were crushed to create road base.
This really touches home for me. Those of you that know me (Commander) know I have a very long Scottish history and my family (Gunn) once had a large holding of land complete with Scottish Castle. A few years ago, I took my son and daughter to Scotland in an effort to relocate the family castle and to see, first hand, the state a disrepair it may be in after not being taken care of properly for several hundred years.
When we arrived, the family Castle was gone, but we found the stone was carted off to build a causeway/flood control system near the family estate, and in all, we were disappointed the family castle was gone, but at least the decaying old castle was put to good use in a meaningful way.
With that said, you can see how the destruction of a 2500 year old Mayan Pyramid has me really upset. Not re-purposed for something meaningful or purpose filled, but crush for road base and then covered over. All when there is rock to be had and bought in the area, but they take history and disregard it instead, all to be lazy and have rock at their fingertips. Here is the whole story:
BELIZE CITY (AP) — 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, authorities announced on Monday.
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 center 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 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 Awe said the builders could not possibly have mistaken the pyramid mound, which is about 100 feet 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”, 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 center, with what appears to be a narrow Mayan chamber dangling above one clawed-out section.