Anthropology Museum of Mexico: Sun Stone and other inspiration

I went to Mexico City on Saturday and encountered one of the premier museums of the world. It is absolutely breathtaking. The layout, the halls, the outdoor alcoves with further architectural features is so immersive. How could I have only allowed three hours? well I did have to go and greet Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, another unique expression of Mexican culture and history.

So @takitus did an engraving of the Sun Stone and that is actually what inspired me most to make the trip. I also wanted to see some of the Mayan glyphs and get a better sense of the country and its art and culture.

Having only seen the stone in pictures, I was unprepared when I turned the corner and saw this:

Totally unprepared for the enormity of the object. Defined monolithic for me forever. One big **s stone.

I did the right half of the hall and then approached the stone.

So everyone wants to get a picture of themselves holding it up Atlas style. At least it gives you some perspective.

Wasn’t about to ask if I could sit on someone’s shoulder and didn’t have a selfie extension so there is a distortion.

So Philip can tweak this pic and his SVG to work with different representations of the amazing stone.

Side shot for shadow and depth.

So this isn’t a calendar stone per se. It is the sun stone representing the five different, successive suns of ancient lore.

Having been three weeks in Mexico and having seen only a few clouds, I can attest that the sun would most likely take center place in culture and religion. Most of us moderns, at least in Missouri can fairly well ignore the sun in our daily existence. Gives me something to think about, how separated we are from the larger forces and rhythms of nature.

Evidently it was intended as a sacrificial altar of some kind. It seems to have been used but it had a big defect in it with a crack going through the whole stone.

I also encountered other stone work and figures that were inspiring as designs.

The sun stone is a very popular art design. Not as ubiquitous as Frida Kahlo but enough that the souvenirs are all over.

Of course the stone would have been painted like everything else.

And once Philip gets the 3D engraving down on this, he can make a chocolate mold.

Really wanted to connect with @ernesto.a.ramirezr but my phone had no service all day. Weird. Sorry. Next time. I’ll have to come back because I missed the whole upper floor.
Definitely worth watching the video if you wish to appropriate the design.


I really like how you’re channeling the 3D engrave vibe.


Wow, that’s spectacular! (I had no idea the stone was that large, I always figured it was tablet size.)

Thanks for showing us the real thing! :smiley:


Wonderful cultural share!
Deep history to the country. Olmec, Mixtec, Toltec and Aztec cultures with my personal favorite Mayan.
Two of the most magnificent structures in the Americas, Pyramid of the Sun and of the Moon were long abandoned when the Aztec stumbled on them.

The Maya were the only Civilization in the hemisphere to develop a written language and had a mathematical concept of zero. You never saw a Roman numeral zero. Astronomical observations so accurate they could predict an eclipse - all the way to 2012 when their long calendar turned over!
Not bad for a neolithic civilization. :sunglasses:

Your mention of how far removed we are from the natural rhythm is so true. One reason I celebrate the solstice, it’s a seasonal cycle that our ancestors knew well, and affects the natural rhythm of all life on Earth.
Considering we know everything depends on the energy from our star, the different culture’s worship of the Sun turns out to be quite accurate!

Thanks again for sharing with us!


And that is just one part of México city :wink: it takes a time to know the city. But next time maybe we could go tho some (because there are a lot :sweat_smile: ) piramids ;). There is one under downtown Mexico city that is were the Aztec Calendar come from :wink: (those were Aztecs) l. Another one is Teotihuacan but that is 1hr from Mexico city and there is where everybody’s goes (Those were Teotihuacans).

But if somebody want to see Mayans you can go ton south Mexico near Cancun :wink: .

So yeah there is a lot to see in Mexico :slight_smile: and I really hope next time you have more time here @marmak3261 to give you a long tour :wink:




What a truly phenomenal visual tour for those of us ‘back home’. Thank you so much, Marion! I am so pleased that you got the great opportunity to see all these incredible artifacts in person…there’s nothing that can duplicate that experience.


I’ve been many times in CDMX and I don’t know any pyramid. That’s something I have to do.


I would have loved to see this in the “Made on a Glowforge” category. :wink:


It is next to the Mexico City Cathedral in The Zocalo :wink: is just part of the piramid because it was buried under the city after the Spanish came to conquer.

They were nomads and they had the belive that they had to find the promise land, and there would be where they saw an eagle eating a snake they saw it where now is dowtonwn Mexico City (and this piramid). Thats why we have that simbol in our flag :wink:


So jealous right now, but in the best way! It looks like you’re making the most of your time in Mexico.


When I get back for sure!!!


Man that is amazing! I would love to visit there.

What I really cannot wait for, is AR assisted tours. Not only for informatics, but so you can switch between what it looks like now, and what it looked like back then. I couldnt imagine the grandeur of a place like that. Keep taking photos!


I just keep thinking of an illustrated version of this stone where the figures pop out and start doing what the represent. There is a PBS video of the Maya that I remember and it was stunning. Just imagine the serpents writhing around the disc. Animation would be se cool. The museum has a cool animation of the five first hunters and the story of creation. This is a special exhibit on the huicholes. Very simple yet powerful. I’m going to have to try some VR sometime. Haven’t yet.


Man, the size laser they must have used to carve those stones, must have been at least 10kw… Those guys were so advanced!



Thanks for the pictures! National geographic did a wonderful feature article on that excavation! Your beautiful Country has a long proud heritage. Mexico City in particular.

The area was already inhabited when the nomadic Mexihcah arrived, and were just another minority ethnic group that populated the valley ruled by the Tepanec culture.
They saw the eagle eating the snake in their prophecy there, and the only area available for settlement was a swampy island in lake Texcoco. They called their city Tenochititlan.

It was an alliance between the Mexica and two other azetcah (claiming the same mythical origin) ethnic city states that after a civil war defeating the Tepanec rulers gave rise to the Aztec empire.

It is a shame so much was destroyed by the Spanish, but nothing new to civilization.
In Egypt, subsequent pharaohs were known to have their own Cartouche (signature) inscribed on top of previous rulers to take credit for temples and monuments.
In mesoamerican pyramids, subsequent rulers added their own construction on top of the original to increase its size and claim ownership.
Excavation of them is a rich repository of archaeological history.
The Mayan pyramids survived so well because they were abandoned and overgrown with jungle instead of being central to a location that would become the 4th most populous city on earth.

I am envious of Marion and his experience. On my bucket list is a tour of that magnificent museum and the remnants of that pyramid to eyeball the history instead of just reading about it! :nerd:
I have visits to Guadalajara, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and soon my 10th trip to Cozumel - but never the jewel of Mexico City.



I was there last year, and spent most of the day trying to see the whole museum, it is unbelievable how much there is there to see! Leaving after 3 hours is probably a good idea though, we were tired and overwhelmed trying to see it all in one visit. You should go back for the upper floor at some point, they have all the textiles, cultural artifacts, and even life size replicas of huts and houses from each region. It is one of the coolest museums I’ve ever been to, for sure!


Exhibits that needs days to fully appreciate are rare.:sunglasses:


Epic! Totally Epic!!