Aztec calendar stone

Mysteries of the Fifth Sun: the Aztec Calendar

-Valley of Anahuac, New Year’s Eve, 1507. Tenochtitlán, the great island city, capital of the Mexica empire, lies cloaked in darkness. An eerie silence pervades the vast ceremonial center — the Teocalli or Templo Mayor — spreading out over Moctezuma’s splendid palace, with its botanical gardens and well-stocked zoo, across the market places, canals, aqueducts, and within each of […]

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Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes and the Fall of Old Mexico by Hugh Thomas

Cogan’s Reviews This must surely be one of the great adventure stories of all time – how Hernan Cortés and about 500 conquistadores conquered a settled and established civilization in three short years, from 1519 to 1521. Distinguished scholar and historian Hugh Thomas has made good use of recently discovered archival material in both Spain […]

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Early pictorial and written sources of Aztec history

Mexican History The pre-Hispanic history of Mexico is contained in the numerous pictorial codices or painted hieroglyphic books produced by the Aztecs, the Maya, the Mixtecs, and others. Unfortunately, very few pre-Conquest codices survived the Spanish Conquest and the destruction of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán in 1521. Of course we have the early writings […]

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Reinventing the Aztecs, Part three

Mexican History In previous articles we looked at some Aztec lyric poems contained in the Cantares Mexicanos and other manuscript collections. The current controversy over the correct translation and interpretation of these poems in the classical Nahuatl language of Mexico-Tenochtitlán and surrounding area is an important issue in Mesoamerican studies because it calls into question the standard […]

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Aztec calendar stone

Mesoamerican religious concepts: Aztec symbolism, Part Three

Mexican History The Aztec Calendar Stone is one of the most important monumental works of art left to us by the Aztecs. Since its discovery in what is now the main zocalo of Mexico City, it has been studied in minute detail. Much fairly accurate information about it is available to the public via the internet and […]

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Aztec calendar stone

Mesoamerican religious concepts: Aztec symbolism, Part Two

Mexican History Some communications “experts” claim that most of our communication is non-verbal and that we interact with one another more with signs and symbols than through the spoken word. However, it is difficult to see how these supposedly “non-verbal” signs and symbols can be adequately understood apart from language. I see an object in […]

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Aztec Calendar

The solar year was the basis for the civil calendar by which the Mexicas (Aztecs) determined the myriad ceremonies and rituals linked to agricultural cycles. The calendar was made up of 18 months, each lasting 20 days. The months were divided into four five-day weeks. The year was rounded out to 365 days by the […]

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