A Little Bit of History Repeating

Remember a couple of months ago, when a construction company in Belize destroyed a 2300-year old Mayan pyramid for, I guess, building materials? Well, it turns out that four people have been charged in that case, including the two managing directors of the company responsible for the destruction.

I wonder what’s going to happen in this case?

Real estate developers using heavy machinery tore down a 20ft (6m) tall pyramid at one of Peru‘s oldest archaeological sites, cultural officials have said.

Rafael Varon, deputy minister of cultural patrimony, told reporters on Wednesday that the destruction occurred over the weekend at the ruins of El Paraiso, a few miles north of Peru’s capital, Lima.

He said his agency has lodged criminal complaints against two companies for the damage – identified as Alisol and Provelanz – and has moved to seize the equipment used. People who answered the telephone at both companies said no one was available to comment.

I’ll bet they weren’t available to comment. What comment would they have offered? “Yeah, uh, sorry about the building or whatever, but, uh, progress, you know?” And, astonishingly, it could have been worse:

Varon said people apparently working for the two companies tore down one pyramid and tried to destroy three others, but were stopped by witnesses.

Well, you’ve already got the destruction crews out there, why stop at leveling just one irreplaceable site? It just makes good economic sense to take down a few more while you’re at it.

The site of El Paraíso was inhabited during the Late Preceramic (3500-1800 BCE), and the pyramid in question was at least 4000 years old. And now it’s gone, taken apart in one night by a gang of criminals calling themselves construction companies.

Here’s an after/before photo (after on the left), via io9.com: