Belize’s Largest Mayan Pyramid Destroyed


The Mayan civilization was one of the most advanced and sophisticated cultures in the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of European explorers. Aside from serving as a place to hold sacrificial rituals, the sacred Mayan pyramids were used as landmarks and built high above the jungle to serve as a reminder that the gods were ever present. Many times they had doorways leading to nowhere.

Sitting in the middle of a privately owned sugar cane field was once one of the largest Mayan pyramids in all of Belize. It may have lacked some of the details present in more well-preserved cultural remains of ancient cities, but the head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, Jaime Awe, said that builders couldn’t have mistaken the 100-foot-tall pyramid mound for an everyday hill.

“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.”

Authorities detected the destruction of the 2,300-year-old complex last week, when builders began extracting crushed rock from the historical site to build roads. Although the Nohmul complex sits on private land, it is supposed to be protected by the government.

Belizean police are currently conducting an investigation regarding the demolition.

This sacrifice made for the sake of building roads surely has not appeased and nourished the gods.