The Aztec sun stone
is a monolithic sculpture four meters in diameter, excavated in Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire. Dating from 1479, the stone depicts calendrical and celestial symbols although archaeologists believe it was not used as an astronomical reference but as a ceremonial altar for human sacrifice.
The face at the center of the stone is thought to depict Tonatiuh, the sun deity. His tongue protrudes in the form of a sharp basalt knife, eager to sever the hearts and drink the blood of sacrificial victims. Wrapped around the rim of the stone and meeting head-to-head at the bottom are the two Xiuhcoatl serpents that represent the opposing forces of day and night. The stone is borne by four Tlalocs, the rain and fertility deities who hold up the sky.
The sun stone is on display at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, and has lost its original brightly decorated pigmentation. Ken Bakeman
has researched and meticulously redrawn the design, adding color that would be true to the vision of the original Aztec artists, and hopefully pleasing to the appetite of Tonatiuh.