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article imageControversy over the 'Aztec calendar' Special

By Joseph Boltrukiewicz     Jun 6, 2010 in Travel
Mexico - The icon of Mexican history and Aztec tradition, 24-ton rocky sculpture, widely known as the "Aztec calendar", is not a calendar itself although it has some features closely associated with measure of time.
The Aztec calendar is different from the Maya calendar. The latter one has recently gained wide popularity due to the year 2012 prediction of the end of the world.
The Aztec and the Maya people, although once populated present country of Mexico, were different groups of people with their distinctive culture and history.
In many gift store outlets in Mexico City as well as in the entire country of Mexico, there's embedded preconception in many visitors' minds that the stony, round shaped sculpture exhibited at the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City depicts the Aztec calendar. Mexican postcards, tin plates, t-shirts, towels and various fabric decorations, all have this "calendario de Azteca" written on them all.
Explanation from Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City why it is the Stone of the Sun and no...
Explanation from Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City why it is the Stone of the Sun and not the Aztec calendar.
A short visit to the National Museum of Anthropology reveals quite a different truth about this famous icon. Next to the "calendar", on the neighbouring wall, there's a short description of what this calendar is all about. In the title line it's read: Stone of the Sun. The very first paragraph explains: "The one sculpture which identifies Mexicas above others is the Stone of the Sun, discovered in December 1790 in the Plaza Mayor of the capital of New Spain. Because of its symbolic contents, with the names of the days and the cosmogonic suns, it was incorrectly identified as the Aztec Calendar".
The Sun Stone exhibited in Museo Nacional de Antropologia  Mexico City.
The Sun Stone exhibited in Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City.
In its feature magazine about the Aztec culture, National Geographic Magazine (December 1980, page 759) explains all the symbols of the Stone of the Fifth Sun which is an alternative name of the Sun Stone.
In the Aztec culture and tradition, the Sun was referred to as "the world". The Aztecs had lived in the time of the Fifth Sun era and were considered themselves as "the People of the Sun". Their divine duty was to wage a war and provide the sun with nourishment. Without it, the sun would disappear from heavens. Therefore the survival of the universe constantly required new offerings made from hearts and blood to the sun. These offerings were performed using different stones. One of them, called "biznaga", was unearthed in October 2005 in Mexico City. It was a stone of cactus shape like, 56 cm in diameter and 77 cm high and was used to perform offerings from cut out human hearts.
Sun Stone (at the back) and sacrificial stone (in the foreground)  Museo Nacional de Antropologia  M...
Sun Stone (at the back) and sacrificial stone (in the foreground), Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City.
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