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May 15, 2013

‘Mind boggling’ comments from archeologist over destruction

Jaime Awe

After our visit to the site today, it is clear that notwithstanding a release in which he refers to the matter as just an unfortunate accident, the authorities…at least those from the Institute of Archaeology, are not buying that story. In fact, speculation is that the destruction was deliberate since, as inconceivable as it seems, a major component of Mayan mounds are limestone blocks, and limestone is a very desirable material in road construction. We believe that matter will be played out in Court, but for now Commissioner of Archaeology Jaime Awe is justifiable angry, especially when it is recognized that a structure like the one which was savaged probably took one thousand years to build.


Dr. Jaime Awe, Commissioner of Archaeology

“Often when we think of a Maya temple, we sort of confuse the way the Maya constructed with the way we construct today. When we construct today, you decide guess what I want to build a home or a house or temple that is going to be sixty feet tall by fifty feet wide and then you go out there and you build it with one shot. No. Often Mayan buildings are the result of several hundred years of construction activity. Let me explain. The Mayas would sometimes build a small building, use it for ceremony, rituals; maybe one of the rulers die, they bury them in there and then their son takes over and they want to make this building even bigger and better than before. They would cover it with dirt, build on top a new building and then use it and then again, fifty years later, another ruler comes and then they build on top and so they gradually go raising the height of that structure. The building in question here is about seventy feet tall. And so we are looking at the end result of perhaps over a thousand years of construction activity. It’s mind-boggling why this had to occur particularly when you think again that the Maya had to mine for this material using nothing more but stone tools. So there we have large machinery, we could find a quarry around and excavate and get the same kinds of material that the Mayan found. As you pointed out, this was an easy target; you could just dig it and you have readymade material. And these are the kinds of things that we as Belizeans need to tell people no; that is not acceptable. We can’t do that. We do that and we destroy our heritage.”


In his release, Grijalva also justifies the excavation on the private land by stating that permission was obtained from the landowner to, quote, ‘extract material from his property from which material had been excavated for well over a decade,’ unquote.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “‘Mind boggling’ comments from archeologist over destruction”

  1. Storm says:

    Belize demands justice against Grijalva and all those who participated in this crime against our history and our nation!

  2. Islander says:

    Men have been shooting men dead for decades! Should then a man shoot Grijalva dead? DOES THAT JUSTIFY IT?

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