Aztec Calendar Stone

Topics: Aztec, Maya civilization, Mexico City Pages: 4 (1590 words) Published: October 13, 2012
Obtaining the knowledge that was passed down to them from earlier Mesoamerican cultures, the Aztecs carved the calendar stone in 1479 (Smith 253). At the time, the Aztecs lived in a very civilized world filled with amazing architecture, an impressively complex government system, and they also employed intricate systems of writing and calendric systems (Taube 7). The Calendar Stone was made by basalt stone. For the Aztecs, everything was pictorial in nature around this era. The calendar stone depicted different pictograms or Codex Magliabechianoand, which was primarily written on religious documents (Aztec-History). Art was centered around religion in this era. So the pictograms of the gods on the calendar stone would correlate with that subject matter. The Aztecs were a highly ritualistic civilization devoted to divination and their Gods. The Aztec calendar stone was created as a divinatory tool which was used for rituals, to forecast the future, and to determine which days were lucky and which days not for the outcome of various actions and events (Smith 254). The calendar had two systems. It had the sacred Tonalpohualli, which was based on the 260-day cycle and the Iuhpohualli, which was a 365-day cycle (Palfrey). Seen by the count, there is a five day difference between these two calendars. The five day differences were thought to be the most unholy, unlucky days of the year (Smith 257). The world was thought to be coming to an end. On the Aztec Calendar, the year was divided into 13-day periods. Each group of 13 days had a different deity ruling over the unit. This is because these units were thought to have a special symbolic influence and the deities were to ensure a positive outcome (Smith 256). In the middle of the Sun Stone, is the sun god Tonatuih. His tongue protruding between his teeth resembles a sacrificial flint knife. In his claw like hands he clutches human hearts (Palfrey). ‘Many scholars have debated on the stone’s meaning and purpose....

Cited: Aveni, Anthony, and Edward Calnek. “Astronomical Considerations in the Aztec Expression of History.” Ancient Mesoamerica. Cambridge University Press, 1999. Print.
Aztec-History. N.p., nd. Web. 1996-2012
Taube, Karl. Aztec and Maya Myths. British Museum Press, 1993. Print.
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