Road-builder: Landowner permitted Belize pyramid excavation

In this image released by Jaime Awe, head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology on Monday May 13, 2013, a backhoe claws away at the sloping sides of the Nohmul complex, one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids on May 10, 2013 in northern Belize. AP Photo/Jaime Awe

BELIZE CITY The owner of a road-building company in Belize that has been blamed for the near destruction of one of the country's biggest Mayan pyramids says a landowner gave permission to extract the material.

Businessman Denny Grijalva says the landowner has allowed excavations on his property for more than a decade.

Archeologists in Belize and around the world have expressed outrage at the demolition of the Nohmul complex in northern Belize to extract crushed rock.

Grijalva says in a statement that the foreman at his De' Mar's Stone Co. picked the pyramid mound for digging out rock and workers excavated all day last Thursday. He says they stopped excavating the next day after several officials from the National Institute of History and Culture instructed them to stop.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.