These days the Mayan civilisation is usually mostly remembered for making dubious predictions about the end of the world.
A new exhibition in Paris aims to change all that - and prove with evidence such as this dramatic jade mask that the Mayan world was in fact a highly developed and complex place.
Egypt is another civilisation with a long history, and on 25 January protesters filled Tahir Square to mark one year since the start of mass rallies that eventually brought down President Mubarak's government. However even as the people gathered a debate continued to rage over whether the rally was a celebration, or a second push for change.
Meanwhile as heavy snow fell in Germany and Andy Murray pushed for the Australian Open semi finals in altogether warmer climes, the annual Monaco circus festival and the northern lights gave the world something nice to watch - while waiting for that Mayan apocalypse to finally begin, of course.
They can all be seen in pictures of the day.