The Stone.

The Calendar Stone, as well as other Aztec pieces were exhibited in the Egyptian Hall in London in 18

Discovery and History.

The Aztec Calendar (Sun Stone) was originally named Cuauhxicalli, or Eagle Bowl, in Aztec. It was commissioned by the Aztec ruler, Axayacatl who reigned from 1469-1481 when it was common practice for each new ruler to commission not only a new Sun Stone, but also a renovation of the Templo Mayor.

The Sun Stone was found buried with the relief side down in front of the Cathedral in Mexico City on the 17th of December, 1790. This is the site of the southwestern corner of the Zocalco, or main square, which is built on the site of the Aztec Temple of the Sun.

It was found during the second great phase of excavation into the Templo Mayor.

The original stone is intricately carved out of basalt and weighs 24 tonnes. It has a diameter of 1.6 metres, and was originally painted, as may be seen in some reproductions. Further, there is evidence that it was once part of a larger sculpture (which also represented the Aztec universe), although this was probably destroyed by the Spanish in 1521. The exact original position of the Sun Stone is not known precisely, although one can assume that it was prominently displayed in either the Temple of the Sun or somewhere else of ceremonial significance. It is possible that it was erected vertically to a wall (as it is displayed in the National Museum of Anthropology) or placed perhaps horizontally on the floor. However, a stone model from the Aztec period in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico shows the stone on the top of a pyramid. The importance of the orientation of the Sun Stone lies primarily in aiding the decipherment of its iconographic qualities.

It is now housed in the Museo National de Antropología in Mexico city.

The meaning of the Aztec Calendar Sun Stone has been "understood for some time. Scholars have typically accepted the interpretations offered by Eduard Seler and Hermann Beyer who are in essential agreement on the matter. According to them the Calendar Stone functioned as a graphic symbol of the Postclassic concept of cyclical time and space"(Klein :1), and as such, does not represent a calendar as we know it. Further, neither was it used for sacrificial purposes. For a deeper analysis and interpretation, refer to the Clickable Calendar Stone and interpretation.

Aztec Calendar Systems. Clickable Calendar Stone
and Interpretation

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