- December 17 -

Aztec Calendar Stone Excavation

The Aztec calendar stone, Mexica sun stone, Stone of the Sun (Spanish: Piedra del Sol), or Stone of the Five Eras, is a large monolithic sculpture that was excavated in the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square, on December 17, 1790. It was discovered whilst Mexico City Cathedral was being repaired....

Aztec Calendar Stone Excavation

The Aztec calendar stone, Mexica sun stone, Stone of the Sun (Spanish: Piedra del Sol), or Stone of the Five Eras, is a large monolithic sculpture that was excavated in the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square, on December 17, 1790. It was discovered whilst Mexico City Cathedral was being repaired. The stone is around 12 feet (3.7 m) across and weighs about 24 tons.

The exact purpose and meaning of the stone is unclear. However archaeologists and historians have proposed a number of theories and it seems likely that there are many aspects to the stone.
Mexican anthropologist Antonio de León y Gama (1735-1802) remarked that the Sun Stone showed that the Aztecs had knowledge of geometry to be able to carve the stone symmetrically and it showed they also had knowledge of mechanics to be able to move the stone from its quarry to its final destination.

One aspect of the stone is its religious significance. One theory is that the face at the centre of the stone represents Tonatiuh, the Mexica god of the sun. It is for this reason that the stone became known as the 'sun stone'. Richard Townsend proposed a different theory, claiming that the figure at the centre of the stone actually represents Tlaltecuhtli, the Mexica sea or earth monster who features in Mexica creation myths. Another feature of the stone relates to time, hence the name 'calendar stone'. Some of the circles of glyphs are the glyphs for the days of the month. Further, some of the symbols may represent the five ages that the Mexica believed the earth had passed through. Yet another characteristic of the stone may be its geographic significance. The four points may relate to the four corners of the earth or the cardinal points. The inner circles may express space as well as time. Moreover, there is the political aspect of the stone. It may have been intended to show Tenochtitlan as the centre of the world and therefore as the centre of authority.

Despite being known as a 'calendar stone,' modern archaeologists such as those at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, at which the stone is housed, believe it is more likely to have been used primarily as a ceremonial basin or ritual altar for gladiatorial sacrifices, than as an astrological or astronomical reference.

The calendar stone image has been adopted by modern Mexican and Mexican American/Chicano culture, and is used in folk art and as a symbol of cultural identity.
Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_calendar_stone

Categories:

More holidays on this day:

Wright Brothers Day

You may also like...

Interesting events from History category.

Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida at...

Cinco de Mayo

Literally "the Fifth of May," Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Holiday celebrating the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862. In 1861, France sent a massive army to invade Mexico, as they wanted to collect on some war debts. The French army was much larger, better trained and equipped than...

Norway’s Constitution Day - Grunnlov

The Norwegian Constitution ('Grunnlov') of May 1814 is the oldest European constitution that is still in use, and the second oldest in the world – behind the American, by which it was inspired. It commemorates the date when the nation's constitution was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17, 1814. It...

Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each 18 July (on Mandela's birthday). In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July 'Nelson Mandela International Day' in recognition of the former South...

Peru's Independence Day - Fiestas Patrias

The Fiestas Patrias peruanas, or Peruvian National Holidays, are celebrations of Peru's independence from the Spanish Empire. They officially consist of three days: - June 24 is celebrated as Countrymans day - July 28, in commemoration of Peru's independence won by José de San...

Women's Equality Day

Women's Equality Day is a day proclaimed each year by the United States President to commemorate the granting of the vote to women throughout the country on an equal basis with men. Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United...

Download KeepIn Calendar

Enjoy the interesting stories even on your phone or tablet