Rancher destroys ancient Mayan buildings in Mexico

A rancher in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico, has destroyed a large Mayan residential complex to make way for pastureland, Fox News Latino reports.

The 2,300 year-old site covers 250 acres and includes many homes, temples, and other buildings. Much of the center of the site was bulldozed away so the rancher could graze his animals there. The rancher claims he recently bought the land and didn’t know the site had any archaeological importance. The government says the site is registered and is launching an investigation.

The rancher didn’t explain how he couldn’t know of the site’s importance if he knew it was so big that he needed to clear it away with heavy machinery. Some of the buildings stood up to ten feet tall. The workers cleared away the town’s main square, including seven buildings and two altars.

[Photo courtesy user Adalberto.H.Vega via Gadling’s flickr pool. This is actually a Mayan site in Honduras and not the site that was destroyed. Sadly, thanks to rancher Ricardo Ascencio Maldonado we can’t get photos of the actual site!]