Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Don't anger the Mayan gods

"Idiot Construction Crew Demolishes 2,300-year-old Maya Pyramid"


George Dvorsky

May 15th, 2013


An investigation is now underway after one of the largest Maya pyramids in Belize was bulldozed to extract materials for a road project.

Stuff like this drives me batty: The Ministry of Tourism and Culture in Belize is freaking out after the the Nohmul Complex was destroyed by construction workers to extract crushed rock for a road project. It's now investigating to find out how it happened, calling the wrecking of the ceremonial center "callous, ignorant, and unforgivable."

The Telegraph reports:

    Cultural landmarks like Nohmul should be protected at all costs and the "disdain for our laws and policies is incomprehensible," the statement said.

    Jaime Awe, who heads the Belize Institute of Archaeology, said yesterday that the builders could not possibly have mistaken the pyramid mound for a natural hill because the ruins were well-known and the landscape there is naturally flat.

    Mr Awe said the destruction at complex in northern Belize was detected late last week.

Criminal charges could be levied pending the investigation.

More about Nohmul from Belize's National Institute of Culture and History.

    Nohmul, meaning “Great Mound,” is 20 meters above sea level and is situated on a low, limestone ridge east of the Rio Hondo between Orange Walk and Corozal. Nohmul lies among sugarcane fields and is actually the highest landmark in the Orange Walk/ Corozal area. It is about a mile from the Northern Highway between San Pablo and San Jose...

    ...Nohmul was first occupied in the Middle Pre-Classic Period. Occupation of the site during the Late Pre-Classic Period was associated with the use of drained fields at Pulltrouser Swamp to the east of the center. By Early Classic times it is possible that the site functioned as a regional center, and that it governed much of the area around the modern communities of San Jose and San Pablo. During the Late Classic Period the site’s fortune waned and it was gradually abandoned. During the Terminal Classic/ Early Post-Classic the acropolis was re-used as a residential area. Today the ruins of Nohmul represent a major ceremonial center with twin ceremonial groups, ten plazas and a sacbe or raised causeway. There is at least one ballcourt. The main structure is a 50 by 52-meter structure that is 8 meters high. Unfortunately the site continues to be destroyed by road construction crews who bulldoze the mounds for gravel.

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