Mayan pyramid bulldozed by Belize construction crew

The extent of the damage done to the 2,300-year-old Mayan temple

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Officials in Belize say a construction company has destroyed one of the country's largest Mayan pyramids.

Head of the Belizean Institute of Archaeology Jaime Awe said the Noh Mul temple was levelled by a road-building company seeking gravel for road filler.

The Mayan temple dates back to pre-Columbian times and is estimated to be 2,300 year old. Only a small core of the pyramid was left standing.

Police said they were investigating the incident.

Archaeologists said this was not the first incident of its kind.

"Bulldozing Maya mounds for road fill is an endemic problem in Belize," Prof Normand Hammond told the Associated Press news agency.

Archaeologists said they were alerted to the destruction late last week.

The Maya complex lies on private land but under Belizean law, any pre-Hispanic ruins come under government protection.

Dr John Morris of the Belizean Institute of Archaeology said the workers would have been aware of what they were doing.

"It is incredible that someone would actually have the gall to destroy this building out here," he told local TV channel News 7.

"There is absolutely no way that they would not know that these are Maya mounds," he said about the ancient structure.

Prosecutors said they were considering bringing criminal charges against the construction company.

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