Mexico is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States of America; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost two million square km Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the thirteenth largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of over 113 million, it is the eleventh most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country. Mexico is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a Federal District, the capital city. In Pre-Columbian Mexico many cultures matured into advanced civilizations such as the Olmec, the Toltec, the Teotihuacan, the Zapotec, the Maya and the Aztec before the first contact with Europeans. In 1521, Spain conquered and colonized the territory from its base in México-Tenochtitlan, which was administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain. This territory would eventually become Mexico as the colony's independence was recognized in 1821. The post-independence period was characterized by economic instability, the Mexican-American War and territorial cession to the United States, a civil war, two empires and a domestic dictatorship. The latter led to the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country's current political system. Elections held in July 2000 marked the first time that an opposition party won the presidency from the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Since 2006 the country has been in the midst of a drug war which has claimed 60,000 lives. Mexico has one of the world's largest economies, and is considered both a regional power and middle power. In addition, Mexico was the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OEC. Mexico ranks sixth in the world and first in the Americas by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with and in 2007 was the tenth most visited country in the world with 21.4 million international arrivals per year.
Aztec Sun Stone - The Aztec calendar stone, Mexica sun stone, Stone of the Sun, or Stone of the Five Eras, is a large monolithic sculpture that was excavated in the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square, on December 17, 1790. It was discovered whilst Mexico City Cathedral was being repaired. The stone is around 12 feet (3.7 m) across and weighs about 24 tons. The exact purpose and meaning of the stone is unclear. However archaeologists and historians have proposed a number of theories and it seems likely that there are many aspects to the stone. One aspect of the stone is its religious significance. One theory is that the face at the centre of the stone represents the Mexica god of the sun. Another feature of the stone relates to time, hence the name "calendar stone". Despite being known as a "calendar stone," modern archaeologists believe it is more likely to have been used primarily as a ceremonial basin or ritual altar for gladiatorial sacrifices, than as an astrological or astronomical reference.
photo by lucky
edited by mobydick74
Added by CHL