A Brief History
Aztec Sun Stone, c.1500, Boxer Briefs
- High-Detail, No-Fade Artwork
- Soft and Athletic Microfiber
- 96% Polyester, 4% Elastan
- 98% Cotton, 2% Elastan Inner Lining
- Comfortable Elastic Waistband
- Make it a Full Briefcase
The ancient Aztec people, whose civilization thrived from c. 1345 to 1521 CE in what we now call Central America had a sophisticated society which helped them gain control over smaller tribes in the region. The Aztec culture included strong religious, social, political, agricultural, and commercial institutions and a clear view of their place in the universe. The Aztec were the dominant people of mesoamerica until the Spanish invasion by Cortes in 1521 which essentially obliterated the Aztec people.
The famous -- and often misidentified -- Aztec Sun Stone shown here is a complex depiction of many elements of Aztec culture. It is NOT the Mayan calendar. A widely held opinion identifies the central figure as the Aztec Sun God, Tonatiuh, who holds a blade in his mouth and human hearts in his outstretched hands. The four square designs around Tonatiuh represent the four eras in the Aztec understanding of time. Sun spokes radiate around Tonatiuh, with the four largest indicating the four cardinal directions, north, south, east, and west. Symbols in the outer rings correspond with the complex Aztec calendars of solar (agricultural) days and religious days. This original basalt carving, found buried in the central square of Mexico City in 1790, presents a compact and artistic rendering of Aztec culture. However, it has often been incorrectly associated with the Maya people who lived in mesoamerica hundreds of years before the Aztec.
Most recently, the design was erroneously associated with the Maya civilization leading up to December 21, 2012, the end date of the ancient Maya calendar. Doomsday theorists took this to mean a prediction of the end of world. Popular culture and social media needed a convenient image to associate with this prophecy. The Aztec Sun Stone, already replicated in untold artistic forms, was the easy, but misinformed, choice. Though the Maya had a very complex calendar system tracking days and predicting solar phenomena, their design did not fit into a neat circular medallion. A classic example of “you can’t believe everything you see on the internet.”