Published On: Fri, Aug 15th, 2014

Archaeological site of Acanmul, Campeche partially destroyed by construction workers

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On July 23rd, the ancient Mayan city of Acanmul, in the state of Campeche, was the target of thieves who stole the rock from historic Precolumbian buildings to use for road construction.
 
Workers from the “Bolio” construction company destroyed part of the archaeological site while working on an access road to agricultural production areas of the small community of Chemblás, 25 kilometers from the city of Campeche; the project was funded by the National Water Commission (CONAGUA).
 
Jose Cohuo, Chemblás municipal representative said: “The machinery driver said he was looking for the bank of sascab (a naturally occurring mineral material used as mortar by the ancient Maya)but as soon as he entered the community he went straight for the mounds in the archaeological site of Acanmul.
Acanmul, Campeche

Acanmul, Campeche

The villagers suspect that part of their heritage was looted by these construction workers.  They not only destroyed part of the archaeological site, but they also looted pottery at Acanmul, reportedly less than 800 meters from the main pyramid.
 
The state authorities of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have to rely on the Attorney General’s Office to conduct an investigation.  Under Articles 51 and 52 of the “Federal Law on monuments, archaeological, artistic and historic areas”, those responsible for plundering could be punished with up to 10 years in prison and a fine equal to the harm caused. 
 
Meanwhile, villagers have formed a surveillance committee to keep more relics from being stolen or destroyed.

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