A 5,000-year-old pyramid in Peru was allegedly destroyed by two real estate developers. The companies apparently used heavy machinery to tear down the 20-foot-tall structure.
The pyramid was located at one of Peru’s oldest archaeological sites, according to cultural officials. Deputy minister of cultural patrimony, Rafael Varon, explained on Wednesday that the destruction happened last weekend at the ruins of El Paraiso.
The El Paraisio pyramids are located in the San Martin de Porres. There are more than 12 structures like the one destroyed over the weekend. Together they make up one of the oldest archaeological sites in the Americas.
Marco Guillen Hugo, an archaeologist who is in charge of the research and excavation at the Peru pyramids, believes that Compañía y Promotora Provelanz E.I.R.L and Alisol S.A.C Ambas were to blame for the structure’s demise. He explained:
“This isn’t the first time they have tried to take over this land. They say they are the owners, even though this land is untouchable.”
The Ministry of Culture also stated that the two real estate developers have previously tried to lay claim to the land. However, it is actually under the government’s control.
Hugo added that the developers “committed irreparable damage to a page of Peruvian history.” The archaeologist went on to explain:
“We are not going to be able to know in what ways it was constructed, what materials were used in it and how the society in that part of the pyramids behaved.”
Along with destroying one pyramid, witnesses said people apparently working for the two real estate developers tried to destroy three others. However, the witnesses stopped them.
The Peruvian pyramid’s destruction wasn’t the first time this year an ancient pyramid has been destroyed. A Mayan pyramid in Belize said to be 2,300 years old was destroyed to provide fill for roads.
Using bulldozers and backhoes, people tore the temple at the Noh Mul site in northern Belize down in May. The Institute of Archaeology’s director, Jaime Awe, called it “one of the worst set of blows I have felt philosophically and professionally.”
Criminal complaints have been filed against both companies believed responsible for the Peruvian pyramid’s destruction.
[Image via Dibojutri]