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Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
The Pleiades (Tianquiztli) are portrayed in the upper left of the document. The other symbols represent other constellations, a meteor or shooting star, the sun, the moon, the eclipses. The image is from the Primeros Memoriales, a sixteenth-century colonial manuscript compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagun.
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Image courtesy of the book 'Moctezuma's Mexico' by David Carrasco and Eduardo Matos Moctezuma. University Press of Colorado, 1992.

Tianquiztli

The Pleiades were known to the Aztecs as Tianquiztli which means "marketplace." The Aztecs were excellent observers of the Sun, the moon, and the planets.

Time was measured according to the movements of the stars and those of the Sun. Their calendar was based on cycles of fifty-two years. They watched the Pleiades carefully move in the sky to ensure that the world would not end.

At the end of each cycle, a religious ceremony would take place to ensure the movement of the cosmos and the rebirth of the sun. Aztecs believed that they could prevent the demons of darkness from descending to Earth and devouring men, by offering to the gods human sacrifices.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA