Ollin Relief, 1250–1521
Wed, 12/01/2021 – 16:12
Mexico, Valley of Mexico, Xochimilco
Museo Nacional de Antropología
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This carved stone relief is a Mexica solar disc, a representation of the sun and its cyclic movement across the horizon over the course of the solar year. At its center is the glyph Nahui Ollin (Four Movement), the name of the solar era that came to an end with the arrival of the Spanish. Four pointed rays with curled ends mark the cardinal directions—east, west, north, and south—and, between these, four precious bundles mark where the sun rises and sets at the solstices. These eight partitions and the sacred center comprise an essential arrangement of the Mesoamerican cosmic order.