Ameyalco (Mdz22r)

Ameyalco (Mdz22r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph stands for the place name Ameyalco. It is a natural spring (ameyalli). The locative suffix -co is not shown visually. The water flows downward with droplets/beads and turbinate shells splashing off the flow. Currents are shown with lines, and the middle line is an especially thick black line. It is colored turquoise blue. It springs from a circle. The bottom of the circle is obscured by the flow. The locative suffix -co is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Frances Berdan and Patricia Anawalt point out that the word ameyalli derives from the verb meya (to flow), which Frances Karttunen also recognizes. The Codex Mendoza has another very similar glyph for Ameyalco on folio 32 recto. In that one, the circular hole in the earth from which the water springs is somewhat smaller, and the droplets and shells that are at the water's tips are in a different order. But, otherwise, the two glyphs are strikingly similar, probably made by the same artist/writer. Today there is a San Miguel Ameyalco in the state of Mexico, near Lerma, in the valley of Toluca. Towns of the same name but with a slightly different spelling (Amealco) are found in the states of Guerrero and Querétaro.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

ameyalco. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Ameyalco, pueblo

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, or by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


natural springs, water,shells

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"On the Spring" [Frances Karttunen agrees with the Berdan and Anawalt translation here. See: [Frances Karttunen, "Critique of glyph catalogue in Berdan and Anawalt edition of Codex Mendoza," unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Spring" (Berdan & Anawalt, v. 1, p. 171)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Amēyal-co = "Donde brota el agua"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Miguel León-Portilla, "Los nombres de lugar en náhuatl," Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl 15 (1982), 42.

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 22 recto,, image 54 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, hold the original manuscript, the MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1. This image is published here under the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0).