|Year dates in the Mixtec codices can be calculated backwards by using Colonial Mixtec and Spanish documents and inscriptions from the sixteenth century. For example, the Christian year A.D. 1555 appears on a dedicatory monument carved on the church of Cuilapan together with the pictograph for the Mixtec year 10 Reed. Using the genealogy of Eight Deers descendants to establish a basic time frame, one can count backwards through the fifty-two-year cycles until we reach Eight Deer himself. Eight Deers birth in the year Twelve Reed was therefore equivalent to A.D. 1063 and his death in the year Twelve Reed was equivalent to A.D. 1115.
A sequence of two fifty-two year cycles are listed below that span the life time of Lord Eight Deer and his rival Lady Six Monkey. The dates are derived from several different sources because some codices are more easily understood than others. Codex Nuttall for example is fairly consistent in naming principal figures but often leaves out key year dates. Codex Bodley, on the other hand, is very specific in giving the year of a persons birth and even connecting that person to the "A-O" glyph with a symbolic "umbilical cord." Actually Mixtec codex scholars do not make their interpretations directly from the pictographs in codices. They analyse sequences of events by composing something like the "Cliff Notes" for a Shakespearean Tragedy from the 52-year cycles. Note the cycle of marriage, alliance, murder, and revenge implied by this sequence of events.