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Ritual and Solar Calendars

The Aztecs used a 260-day ritual calendar, the >Tonalpohualli. The Tonalpohualli works in the same way as the Maya tzolk’in, with a number from one to thirteen attached to twenty cycling day-names. Although the Aztecs used a 365-day calendar to measure the solar cycle, they referenced it less often than the Maya.

In the following image, each quadrant represents a god surrounded by a serpent. The day signs attached to each god and the disks in the body of each serpent mark the days of the thirteen-day period called the trecena.

Codex Borgia
Based on a page from the Borgia Codex, a manual of ritual and prophecy for priests. From Cyrus Thomas, Notes on certain Maya and Mexican manuscripts, 1884.


Exhibit Items