A Maya ceremonial center that has stood in northern Belize for approximately 2,300 years was destroyed when construction crews chipped away at it with backhoes and bulldozers to extract rock for a road-building project, Associated Press is reporting.
The news outlet detailed how construction crews demolished parts of a pyramid in the Nohmul complex, the most important Maya site in northern Belize, near the border with Mexico. There are 81 structures in the complex, but the destroyed pyramid was the ceremonial center, as well as the namesake structure for the complex. Now the once large structure has been whittled down to its core, and the limestone that was extracted will be used for gravel roads in a nearby village.
Although the land the pyramid sits on is privately owned, laws in Belize maintain any pre-Hispanic ruins are under government protection. According to the Associated Press, police said they are conducting an investigation and criminal charges are possible.