Conflict & Justice

Ancient Mayan Pyramid Bulldozed, Mostly Reduced to Rubble for Use as Road Fill


Partially destroyed Mayan pyramid in the Nohmul complex in northern Belize (Photo: Jaime Awe/NICH)

The ancient Maya culture once spread across the region of Central America.

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That heritage lives on in the contempory Maya culture as well as in the ruins of stone pyramids.

"The early pyramids really do seem to be temples to the Gods," said archaeologist Patricia McAnany. "Later on in time after about AD 600, pyramidal were built as giant temples for rulers after they died."

Archaeologists in one Central American country were alarmed last week to discover that a 2,300-year-old Mayan pyramid was demolished.

Road building crews may have haphazardly bulldozed the ancient site.

So can you name this country that borders Mexico and Guatemala …and that was once a thriving hub of Maya culture.

Archaeologists are up in arms after learning that an ancient Mayan pyramid has been destroyed in the Central American nation of Belize, the answer to our Geo Quiz.

Road construction workers apparently bulldozed the 2,300-year-old pyramid and used the crushed rock as road fill.

Belizean police are investigating.

Patricia McAnany, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina, has spent years studying the Mayan ruins in northern Belize. She calls the demolition "tragic" and hopes it will spur a public dialogue in multi-ethnic Belize about the importance of respecting others' cultural heritage.

  • mayanpyramid2-e1368559492945.jpg

    In this image released by Jaime Awe, head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, a backhoe claws away at the sloping sides of the Nohmul complex, one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids (Photo: Jaime Awe NICH Belize)


    © AP Photo/Jaime Awe