Another archaeological site bulldozed

vlcsnap-2013-05-21-21h37m38s167Plus news has learned that Belize’s Mayan History and Heritage continues to be destroyed. Information reaching our news room is that sometime last week, a bulldozer was clearing land in the Blackburn area of Crooked Tree Village when the incident occurred. Plus news spoke with Village Chairman George Guest who told us that he was informed about the incident by a local after which he contacted the National Institute of Culture and History. (NICH)

George Guest – Chairman Crooked Tree Village:
vlcsnap-2013-05-21-21h37m02s69It was reported to me that somebody had dug up some person’s land.  When I went and checked it I saw it was a Mayan site.  So I reported it to NICH. NICH came out.  I didn’t give my name as such.  It was anonymous at the time. So they came out, and when they came out and saw that I had made the complaint, they asked to come with me to see the site.  When they saw the site, that’s when they told me to leave it with them.  But it’s been two weeks now.  The land belongs to the village. It doesn’t belong to nobody.  It belongs to the village of Crooked Tree.  But our people think it belongs to the person who bulldozed it down. [That was] Eustace Dawson with the go-ahead from the Area Representative, and Rudolph Crawford.  He was bulldozing it for farmland, but it’s not his land. It’s a protected area.

Personnel from the Institute of Archaeology did pay visit to the site and according to Guest they took the remnants of destroyed pottery and artifacts which had been left behind.

George Guest – Chairman Crooked Tree Village:
vlcsnap-2013-05-21-21h37m12s167I took NICH out there, and NICH took away some of the artifacts, some pottery.  It’s already been classified as an archeological site and a protected area.  So these people just cannot go in there and bulldoze it down.  They have to have permission.  I don’t think that the right authorities, NICH, were informed, ’cause NICH would never have let that happen.

According to Guest, the area which had been bulldozed was designated as a protected area by NICH since the early 1990’s. Plus news also spoke with a reliable source from the Institute of Archaeology who confirmed that the incident indeed happened.

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