The Aztec Sun Stone

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    • This terrazzo inlay representing the face of the Aztec Sun Stone was a centerpiece of the Hall of the Sun in the original Hayden Planetarium, built in 1935. Often mistakenly called the Aztec Calendar Stone, the actual 25-ton monolith represents the fifth sun, or age, which began with the accession of King Itzcoatl (1427-1440). The original stone is on view at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, and a full-size cast stands in the Hall of Mexico and Central America.

      The central image depicts Tonatiuh, the Aztec sun god and principal deity during the fifth sun, and Aztec cycle that relates to time and politics.

      Four icons - jaguar, wind, rain, and water - represent the four previous suns, or ages, when the world was repeatedly created and destroyed.

      These twenty signs belong to the 13 cycles in the 260-day Aztec ritual calendar.

      Two fire serpents encircle the mosaic, their heads face each other at the bottom and tails meet at the top.

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