The carved basalt monolith commonly known as the Aztec Sun Stone, created by Mexica artisans during the late 15th century, was excavated from the zócalo, the main square of Mexico City, on December 17, 1790. Weighing 24 tons and measuring 12 feet in diameter, it is currently housed in Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology. The stone, often erroneously referred to as the “Mayan Calendar”, features the visage of the sun god Tonatiuh at its center, and was initially displayed on the side of Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral for several decades before being moved indoors. Following its modern rediscovery, the Aztec Sun Stone was first described and illustrated in print by Antonio de León y Gama in 1792 (lower right) (x). The image on the lower left is a photograph taken by the Frenchman Alfred Briquet in 1889 (x).

(Source: fylatinamericanhistory)