December 17, 2011 - Aztec Calendar Stone Discovered

– 1790

Imagine you are in La Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City) on this date in 1790... You are doing repairs and have to dig below the Zocalo (main square) – and you discover a huge slab of stone with ancient symbols carved all around a central face!

Can you imagine how exciting it would be to make such a discovery?

The circular stone slab is 12 feet (about four meters) in diameter and 3 feet (about one meter) thick—and it weighs more than 24 tons! It is a massive representation of the Aztec calendar; known as the Sun Stone, it is one of Mexico's national treasures.

The calendar used
to be painted
in bright colors.
When the Spanish conquered the Aztecs in the early 1500s, they tore down the grand temple dedicated to the sun god Tonatuih and erected a large cathedral dedicated to the Christian god, instead. It seems that the Spanish just buried the Sun Stone as they rebuilt their new capital city on top of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire.
Tenochtitlan was built on a natural and artificial
islands on a lake!

Learn about the Aztecs...

  • Here is an introductory video. 
  • This video is more professional than the one listed above, and really interesting. However, it is a bit more one-sided—showing a lot of positive things about the Aztecs, and barely mentioning the negatives. 

For more about the Aztecs, check out this earlier post

Also on this date...

No comments:

Post a Comment