10 Historical Artifacts Ruined By Stupidity And Ignorance

Ancient artifacts are literally irreplaceable, and yet people still destroy them. Sometimes this is through malice, as in the case of the terrorist group ISIL smashing antiquities and broadcasting the footage. Other times this is through just plain old stupidity, which actually happens quite often.

Ancient artifacts are literally irreplaceable, and yet people still destroy them. Sometimes this is through malice, as in the case of the terrorist group ISIL smashing antiquities and broadcasting the footage. Other times this is through just plain old stupidity, which actually happens quite often.

Native American monuments and rock art dot the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and are considered sacred by the local Native American tribes as their birthplace. They’re even registered in the US National Register of Historic Places. In 2010, park rangers were summoned after someone reported people firing paintball guns in the area. They found paint splattered across the rock art, then talked to and ultimately arrested a 20-year-old man who had been shooting up the monuments.

The man, a resident of Arizona, was sentenced to more than a year in jail as well as a nearly $10,000 fine and 50 hours of community service after pleading guilty to several charges pertaining to the destruction of ancient artifacts. Park rangers had to remove hundreds of paintballs from the canyon and found 38 areas with rock art that had been shot up.

9. Mayan Temple Bulldozed For Construction Material

It would at least be understandable if war or a natural disaster had destroyed 2,300-year-old Mayan temples, but finding out that they were actually destroyed for construction materials to build nearby roads is so much worse. This actually happened in 2013, when a Belizean construction company used mechanical diggers and bulldozers to knock down most of a Mayan pyramid and haul away the limestone.

From the construction company’s perspective, they had good reason to do this. Mayan pyramids were made of high-quality limestone, and the temple was close to the road construction site, so the company could save on fuel costs. The temple was also on private land, so its owners would have also been complicit in its destruction. Although the bulldozing of the temple stopped as soon as word got out, much of it had already been destroyed, leaving a pitiful ruin with holes in it, and it’s likely that many archaeological artifacts inside the temple were smashed.

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