Scientists excavating an ancient pyramid in Guatemala are said to have uncovered what may be the earliest example of Mayan writing.
The journal Science reports that hieroglyphic writing found in a stone building buried beneath a Mayan temple at San Bartolo dates to 250 B.C.
The article says that before the discovery last April, the complex Mayan system of hieroglyphics was thought to have developed much later.
The discovery consisted of 10 hieroglyphs painted with thick black lines on white plaster. Archeologists at the same site last month unearthed a large, brightly colored Mayan mural thought to be the oldest of its kind - some 2,000 years old.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.