In Brief

Workers Bulldoze Mayan Relic in Belize

Mayan pyramid
Workers in Belize bulldozed a Mayan pyramid. The Mayans built impressive structures like this Pyramid of Kukulkan in Chichen Itza, Mexico. (Image credit: stock.xchng)

In a tragic move, construction workers in Belize bulldozed a Mayan pyramid dating back more than 2,000 years, to obtain rock to build a road. And it wasn't exactly an accident, Jaime Awe, head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology told the Associated Press. "These guys knew that this was an ancient structure. It's just bloody laziness," Awe said.

The 100-foot-tall (30 meters) pyramid mound, which belonged to a ceremonial center called the Nohmul complex, sat in a privately owned sugar cane field in northern Belize. In photos, the bulldozer can be seen hacking away at the ancient relic. And it's not the first time historic Mayan structures in Belize have been reduced to gravel for roads, the AP reports.

Police are investigating the shady affair, which could warrant criminal charges. Belizean law protects any pre-Hispanic ruins, even ones on private land. As for the construction project, that's one road not paved with good intentions.

Tanya Lewis
Staff Writer
Tanya was a staff writer for Live Science from 2013 to 2015, covering a wide array of topics, ranging from neuroscience to robotics to strange/cute animals. She received a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from Brown University. She has previously written for Science News, Wired, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, the radio show Big Picture Science and other places. Tanya has lived on a tropical island, witnessed volcanic eruptions and flown in zero gravity (without losing her lunch!). To find out what her latest project is, you can visit her website.