The Aztec calendar was the calendar that belonged to the Aztec people who lived in pre-Columbian Mexico. It shares the basic structures of the calendars that were used during ancient America. This calendar is a carving that was recorded on the Aztec calendar stone and is currently in the national museum of anthropology and history in Chapultepec Park, in Mexico City. The original sun stone was carved in the middle of the 15th century and was a 12 inch massive stone slab weighing almost 25 tons, has a diameter of close to 12 feet and is 3feet thick (Somerville 2009).
Its original name is cuauhxicalli eagle bowl. This Aztec was carved during the reign of the 6th monarch of Aztec in the year 1479 and it was dedicated to the principal Aztec deity, the sun, this is why it is called the sun stone. It had both mythological and astronomical importance. It was discovered in the main square for Mexico City on December 17, 1790. General Porfirio Diaz the president of the republic in 1885 had it transferred from the wall of the western tower of the metropolitan cathedral to the national museum of archaeology and history .the Aztec calendar consisted of 365 days and a 260 day ritual cycle that was used by the priests for dive purposes. These two cycles combined formed a 52 year century. Every month in the calendar had a name and each month was numbered from one to twenty and each month had a name and a patron god or ritual that was to take place. For example month number one was known as atlacacauallo interpreted to mean the ceasing of water, had the patron god tlaloc and children were to be sacrificed to water gods.
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The carving has the face of the sun, and the sun to the Aztecs was the Lord of Heaven-tonatiuh where all daily and periodic phenomena took place around. The head has a crown, a pendant on the nose, earrings and a necklace. All these accessories are magnificent as befits the character of the deity. The hair is blonde depicting the golden color of the sun. It also has wrinkles on the face and they show age and maturity. The tongue sticks out and is in the form of an obsidian knife, and has a symbolic meaning indicating that the deity demands to be fed with blood and human hearts. The image of the sun god Tonatiuh within the sign Ollin means that it represented the last of the Aztec cosmological era.
The Aztec calendar shows us that these people had knowledge in astronomy and mathematics .they also believed in many gods to whom they paid tribute to everyday. They sacrificed both animals and humans to their gods to satisfy them when they believed that they were angry. The 260 day ritual marked the beginning of another spiritual year when the priest would cut out the heart of a person with a knife. Their calendar also shows us that they practiced agriculture as they had seasons. they also loved art as this sculpture is not simple .it is made of limestone and precious metals .it also had a political message as there is a sign representing the 13threed visible on the surface which is the year that the sculpture was completed it marked the re-birth of the Aztec empire as well as the rise of Itzcoatl as the emperor of Aztec. The Mexican temples are filled with Aztec symbols.
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