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My regrets - yes these are surely ancient sites - but we think nothing when classical architecture buildings in the US are demolished for some ugly modern glass structure. For perhaps all of human time we have used the pieces of old buildings and sites to build new ones. We cry and wail when this happens - but where is the effort to save these places. think of Egypt and the pyramids - if it weren't for the money that tourism brings in - the Muslims would raze them to desert sand - they have already been pilfered of the limestone cover for modern buildings.
PS: it is NOT vandalism - this is no worse than blowing up an old hotel - or building one pyramid on top of another - WE think it's terrible - but the local people see it as a resource for their future - you could of course - truck in tons of rock gravel for them to build roads with.
It was the Taliban who blew up the huge Buddha statues, which were in wetern Afghanistan, Mike. The Allied armies damaged the Ziggurat at Ur in Iraq - one of the oldest sites of human settlement - in the 1991 Gulf War. The fabulous Mediaeval Souq in Aleppo was destroyed last year in the Syrian civil war and the amazing Roman ruins in Syria as rumoured to have been severely damaged or destroyed. Napoleon's soldiers smashed up the face of the Sphynx in Giza by using it for target practice. Goodness knows what WWI and WW2 destroyed in Europe, when entire cities were levelled. In the distant past, ancient cities and redundant defences were dismantled stone by stone and turned into new buildings, because it saved the labour of cutting stone. Henry VIII destroyed English monasteries and Oliver Cromwell ripped apart Royalist castles.
So time, wars and politics progressively erase the traces of humanity's past and leave very little that we can use to understand how our distant ancestors lived. If you think humanity's cultural heritage has value, then mining ancient monuments for roadstone is vandalism, if you think that cultural relics are just an obstacle to turning a profit then it doesn't matter.
In the end, the road probably has less potential value to the local economy than the pyramid did. Though, of course, the loss to the local community's potential earnins would be irrelevant to the contractor who profited from destroying it.
i'm sure in history that 10,000 or more buildings were destroyed in a number of ways, that we will never know about. its our odd habit of wanting to hold onto things like this. i'm sure there are other buildings around and i'm betting there will be more as we find them. if this one was in the way, knock it down. for all we know mountains aren't pieces of the earth, they could have been an ancient structure as well.
The Aswan dam project and the Three Rivers Gorge project both submerged ancient landmarks. Less ancient landmarks are torn down or destroyed every day. Fortunately some are preserved. These buildings were built with pride and the builders had hoped to have these stand for many lifetimes.
Here in Fredericksburg, VA, site of Civil War battlefields and right across the river from where George Washington grew up and, supposedly, chopped down the cherry tree and chucked a coin across the river (I suspect he may well have skipped one across - still no mean feat), we have laws establishing a historic district downtown. Even so, we have had a couple buildings torn down by their owners without proper vetting of their historical status (one by a neighboring church that wanted to open up access to their building), and another (the home of John Paul Jones' brother, and, I think, the closest thing to a home JPJ had during his sailing career) that was being renovated to be used as a coffee shop (they had replaced the windows with modern ones and replaced about a quarter of the siding when all work suddenly stopped - which I suspect only happened due to the proximity to the commuter train station and the large historical marker that had been removed from the building to do the work resulting in someone complaining.)
some history doesn't need to be saved though. around where i live there is a small house located on a very dangerous street (bad double blind curves on a hill). it's a small house clearly built in the 70's. and a large plot of land. for a really long time it was a zoo that was ran really poorly and neglected. they went out of business and it sat there for years. out of no where they declared the house a landmark, because washington slept there, or peed there, or did something there. this really ugly house, yeah sure. so now, they want to restore the house into a tiny museum, where no one can park and it's deadly to pull out of there, and it's one of those sites that are totally unimportant. i would rather they straighten the road instead so it's not as bad as it is right now. i think they built the road around the house. right now the back yard area has tons of mulch from hurricane sandy and the land really isn't being used that well. some things should just go. as many will never miss it.