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Category Archives: vandalism

Maya pyramid destroyed in Belize… to get gravel

The machinery of a construction company has destroyed one of the most important archaeological treasures of Belize with the most idiotic possible purpose: to get gravel from it. 

The pyramid of Nohmul was erected some 2300 years ago and are part of the most important patrimonial set of Belize, located not far from the Mexican border. 
Belizean police claims to be investigating the incident and may lay charges against the vandals.
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Constructors invade major archaeological site in Istanbul with heavy machinery

Archaeologists working in one of the most important archaeological sites of Europe, Yenikapı
(Istanbul, Turkey), an emergency dig that has been extended for years
as it became obvious that it is a treasure of archaeological evidence
spanning many ages, saw their work interrupted and damaged by an
impromptu invasion of heavy machinery. The site is meant to be one of
the major nodes in the ambitious Marmaray subway project but is under
archaeological research since 2004. 

Archaeologists working at the site have
released a written statement to attract public attention to the
incident. “An excavation has been carried out in Yenikapı as part of the
Marmaray Subway Project for eight years as ordered by the Fourth
Regional Board of Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets. The
importance of the contributions that this excavation has made to the
cultural life of İstanbul is already well known by the public. This
excavation has been defined by world authorities as one of the most
important excavations made during the century. The ongoing excavation
activities do not block the construction of the Marmaray project because
the work is being conducting at a place that is planned to be a parking
lot. This excavation is the site of the Port of Theodosius, which dates
back to the fourth century. The site is also in a residential area
dating back to the Neolithic Age. On May 11, 2013, bulldozers went onto
the site and started to destroy these historically important remnants.
This is a crime under the current Constitution’s Article 63 concerning
the conservation of historical, cultural and natural wealth, and this is
against international agreements signed by Turkey,” they said.

Source: Today’s Zaman.
 

Alert: destruction of 8000 year-old engravings in Morocco by Fundamentalists – government denies

The Amazigh League for Human Rights denounced the destruction of several Neolithic engravings in Toubkal National Park, south of Marakesh. Among the damaged art is said to be a depiction of the Sun as a god. They date from c. 6000 BCE.

Source and more details: BBC (h/t Stone Pages’ Archaeonews).

The damaged relic (source)

Update: the Government of Morocco denies the claim with strange wording

The Moroccan authorities have denied the claim of a vandalism against a solar engraving attributed to Fundamentalists. According to an AFP report:


“This kind of incident, contrary to our values, cannot take place in
Morocco,” it said, adding that an investigation carried out with local
and regional authorities had showed that the claims were unfounded.

But
such sites “can suffer, like elsewhere, the effects of natural and even
human degradation, sometimes through vandalism and trafficking.”

The wording is at the very least strange: the logic does not seem sound (can’t happen because of our values) and the suggestion of other reasons for the same vandalism are at the very least suspicious. 
My reading is that the Moroccan Ministry of Culture wishes to deny all kind of militant Salafist activism but that, subtly, acknowledges the destruction, attributing it to mystery causes (either erosion or mindless vandalism) rather than Fundamentalism. 
Not too credible. 

Update (Oct 25):

Dalouh (see comments) has been gathering some more info on the matter from Arabic language sources in Facebook and it would seem that the locals chased out the fundamentalist vandals preventing greater damage, still:

Above: damage stone, below: original

 
11 Comments

Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Morocco, North Africa, rock art, vandalism

 

Dolmen destroyed in Galicia in search of non-existent "treasury"

Archaeologists revise the destroyed site
An excavator machine destroys a 6000 years old mámoa (dolmen tumulus, usually with a dolmen inside) in the parish of Pinzás (Tomiño, Galicia). It is speculated that the vandals were searching for mythical treasury. In the past many dolmens were broken in and vandalized for similar reasons but this is the first case ever known, I think, to have been done with modern machinery for such a reason.
If anyone wonders, there’s no treasury in them. At least no treasury other than archaeological knowledge and the pride of a deeply rooted history.
Source[es]: Faro de Vigo (via Pileta).
 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 16, 2012 in archaeology, European prehistory, Iberia, Megalithism, vandalism