Copyright 2005

[ December 8th 2005 ]

Archaeologists excavating a site in Guatemala have unearthed a momument depicting a woman of authority in ancient Mayan culture thought to be the earliest of its kind, Reuters reports today.

The 2-meter high (6-1/2 foot high) limestone monument, called a stela, has a portrait of a female who could be either a ruler or a mythical goddess, said Kathryn Reese-Taylor, a University of Calgary archeologist. "It's unique in that it shows a woman in a really early period in Maya history, a period when the city states were being founded and dynasties were being instituted," she said.

The Maya civilization is a historical Mesoamerican civilization, which extended throughout the northern Central American region which includes the present-day states of Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and parts of El Salvador, as well as the southern Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco and the entirety of the Yucatán peninsula.

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