Web Design
Aztec Calendar

Aztec Calendar

The original Aztec Calendar Stone was carved in 1479 out of a massive block Basalt (solidified lava), 3 feet thick, almost 12 in diameter, weighing almost 25 tons. It was lost - buried under the central square of Mexico City for 300 years. It was rediscovered in 1790 during an excavation project. After spending 95 years in the Metropolitan Cathedral, in 1885, it was moved to the National Anthropological Museum in Mexico City where it remains to this day.

I am not going to delve into the intricacies of its meaning and how the calendar is interpreted. Many Internet sites have a wealth of information about the calendar. However, please be aware that you also find numerous hoax web sites, particularly on YouTube where the apocalyptic end of the world is predicted.

In actuality, the calendar's cycle just reached the end what is called the Fifth Epoch and starts a new cycle. When your car's odometer reaches 100,000 miles it starts over at zero. There you have it.

Nevertheless, the Aztec Calendar is an intricate relief sculpture and stirs up conversations and speculations.

My version of the calendar weighs considerably less. It is carved out of a 3/4" thick slab of MDF. How was it designed? I obtained several high-resolution photographs. I used these as templates while tracing the contours with software from Corel (Corel Trace and Corel Draw). The job of drawing more than 3000 shapes in a vector format consumed some 300 hours. The beauty of having this drawing (any drawing) as vectors is that the final result can be scaled across a wide range of sizes without losing any details.

Another piece of software, V-Carve Pro, then interprets the drawn lines by assuming that a V-cutter is used for carving. It produces machining paths that are finally sent to the CNC (computer-controlled) router. The result is is a very good approximation of the original chiseled shape.

The flat top surfaces are first finished with a light coat of acrylic paint as a sealant. The subsequent application of Shellac and Polyurethane penetrates the recesses turning them much darker enhancing the contrast.

A steel keyhole hanger is recessed into the back of the calendar for easy hanging on a wall.



Aztec Calendar with 16-inch Diameter


Detail of the Center

Detail of Repeating Figures


Detail of Figures at the Bottom

Backside with Hanger and Logo


I do not pretend that I know how to navigate the Aztec calendar. If you studied the various applicable web sites carefully, you just may become a member of a handful of experts on the subject. I spent the many hours on this design because it was a challenge and the result is stunning.


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