What Is the Meaning of the Aztec Calendar?


Quick Answer

The Aztec calendar is a visual representation of how the culture measured time. The Aztec calendar stone is a decorative representation of the calendar as well as a memorial to ritual deities.

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What Is the Meaning of the Aztec Calendar?
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Full Answer

A common representation of the Aztec calendar, also called Tonalamatl, is the calendar stone, which includes two parts:

  • Solar calendar: divided into 18 20-day months
  • Tonalpohualli: 260 ritualized and sacred days

Various gods protected days on the calendar. Only priests could interpret and explain the Tonalmatl and were the ones who recorded predictions they read from it into sacred books.

The Aztec calendar is part of Mesoamerican history and played a large role in the development of various cultures in what is now central and southern Mexico.

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