ameyalli (Mdz32r)

ameyalli (Mdz32r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph of a natural spring, ameyalli stands for the place name Ameyalco. It has a semi-circle to suggest an opening in the earth, from which water emerges, flowing straight down in front of the viewer. The water has currents drawn in thick and thin dark lines, and painted over with a turquoise blue watercolor. Drops and shells (or two kinds of shells) spray off from the current in alternation. These are white, with minimal black-line drawings on them. We have also included this sign as a simplex glyph for water (atl) in this database. The -co locative suffix is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Natural springs could be sacred in Nahua culture, as they were seen as life giving. Further, they connected the underworld with the earth. At the site of a natural spring on the volcano Iztaccihuatl, excavations have uncovered "ceramic fragments, lithic materials, lapidaries and organic remains," apparently associated with the rain deity Tlaloc. (See: Theodoros Karasavvas, "Has a Millennium Old 'Floating' Replica of the Aztec Cosmos Been Found in Mexico?" Ancient Origins, January 5, 2018.) Archeologists Vernon L. Scarborough and ‎Barry L. Isaac report that "in almost every ameyalli found in the Mesoamerican area, there are evidences of structural remains" (Economic Aspects of Water Management in the Prehispanic New World, 1993, p. 167).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

SVG of Glyph: 

spring, springs, manantial, waters, shells

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

springs, a natural spring

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el manantial

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 
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).