Mayan Temple Damaged by 'End-of-World' Parties

Image credit: Getty Images

An ancient stone temple in Guatemala suffered significant damage from "end of the word" party goers earlier this month.

Tikal, where the temple is located, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, according to AFP, "the largest archaeological site and urban center of the Mayan civilization."

"Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage," said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site told AFP. It is forbidden to climb the temples. The nature of the damage was not described, but Gomez said it's "irreparable."

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Friday, Dec 21 was believed by some to be the end of the world, coinciding with the end of the Mayan calendar. More than 7,000 people visited the Tikal site on that day, said the AFP. Mayan priests held ceremonies at the site.

"We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (UNESCO) World Heritage Site," Gomez reportedly told local media.

The site is about 340 miles north of Guatemala City.

The end of the Mayan calendar was anticipated around the world. Click here to see photos of how people from Spain to Mexico to Honduras to China awaited the end of the world event that never happened.