General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Sep 2017/8 Reed
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How big was the Aztec Calendar (Stone)?

ORIGINAL QUESTION received from - and thanks to - Amy Firkins: Hello my name is Amy, I have a question to ask you, how tall was the real aztec calendar? (Answered by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Pic 1: the Sunstone is the centrepiece of the Aztec Hall in the National Museum of Anthropology
Pic 1: the Sunstone is the centrepiece of the Aztec Hall in the National Museum of Anthropology (Click on image to enlarge)

Thanks for your question, Amy. We think you’re asking about the famous Aztec Calendar Stone; it’s often called the Sunstone, or sometimes the ‘Stone of the Suns’ - or occasionally by Mexicans (joking!) ‘Moctezuma’s watch’...

Pic 2: Mexican student Jonathan Sotres (our grandson, who is VERY tall!) sizes up the Sunstone. He’s NOT touching it!
Pic 2: Mexican student Jonathan Sotres (our grandson, who is VERY tall!) sizes up the Sunstone. He’s NOT touching it! (Click on image to enlarge)

Well, it’s seriously tall! Here we’re showing you three photos, to give you an idea of just how big it was: it’s kept in the ‘Sala Mexica’ (Aztec Hall) of the largest museum in Mexico, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, and you can see it in the distance (picture 1); then there’s a close-up of the Calendar Stone with a teenager pretending to be holding it up (picture 2); and finally there’s a really close-up photo of the centre part of the Stone (picture 3).

Pic 3: the view of the centre of the Sunstone, from the floor of the Museum
Pic 3: the view of the centre of the Sunstone, from the floor of the Museum (Click on image to enlarge)

If you want the actual details: it weighs about 24.5 tons, is made of solid basalt stone, and measures more than 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) in diameter. So that means it’s the height of two tall grown-ups! It was discovered on December 17th., 1790, when workers were levelling the central plaza (main square) of Mexico City. For almost 100 years it was hung on the outside of the west tower of Mexico City’s Cathedral, until in 1885 the president of Mexico at the time, Porfirio Díaz, ordered its transfer to the National Museum.

You can have fun exploring the Sunstone with our interactive section - follow the link below!

Our interactive Sunstone section

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