Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Institute of Archeology intervenes on demolition of Maya mound in San Pablo Area


After the partial disturbance of a Maya mound in the San Pablo neighborhood, south of San Pedro Town, the Institute of Archeology (IA) has issued a stop order to halt any further development.
Although the mound was not registered as a historical site, the IA has seen its significance, and is willing to preserve its remains. During the inspection on Thursday, May 25th, a significant amount of both large and small pieces of red, black and beige pottery shards, plaster, conch shell, and chalices were found. It was revealed that the mound, which is considered private land, has been sold a couple of times in the past. However, in 2010, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Manuel Heredia Jr. indicated that all future owners will not legally be able to use the parcel of land for any construction. In agreement with Minister Heredia, IA stated that they have issued several stop orders to prevent development on the site.
Mayor Daniel Guerrero spoke on the nature of the property, and explained the reason he did not get involved in the demolition process. “That land issue has popped up before in 2009 and it has been controversial since then. It is located in the San Pablo area, and as far as we know it was sold to a private person. It actually belongs to Enrique Rolando Thompson, from the mainland. It has happened that Real Estate brokers sold it, and that the word out there was they had approached our workers to go and level the land and kind of clean it. But I said no, let’s not touch that property,” said Guerrero.
The Mayor said that the site is part of San Pedro Town’s cultural heritage, which might even have a connection with Santa Cruz, Marco Gonzalez, or any other archeological site on the island. He is hoping that the Ministry of Natural Resources can exchange the property with the owner, and swap it for another piece of land.
Jan Brown, Chairwoman of the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site, had initially inspected the area, where she explained that the young site dates back to the year 1,000, and was reminiscent of a small Maya village that traded salt.
Brown told The San Pedro Sun that this is major accomplishment for the island. “There was such a good outcry. It was great that all relevant authorities became involved, which included the IA, the Department of Environment, the San Pedro Police Department, and the San Pedro Town Council. Although our island has been built on top of lots of different Maya sites, this is a great achievement because we now have this site recognized, as the IA has directed to conserve the mound,” said Brown.
The IA is currently in the process of excavating the site to retrieve its Maya remnants and record its data, and the community is grateful that further development has stopped. Brown, along with the Mayor, look forward to having the site put back into its original condition, cleaned up and registered as an archeological site.

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