Amiltzinco (Mdz25r)

Amiltzinco (Mdz25r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Amiltzinco consists of three notable visuals, a maize plant growing on an agricultural field [amilli) and the lower half of a human body providing a visual of the human bottom, rear end, or buttocks [the tzintli), meant as a phonetic indicator for the locative suffix -tzinco. The maize plant has a lead and four branches, and it has two ears of corn, one red and one yellow, on the lower branches. The agricultural parcel is segmented, textured, and painted orange and purple. The buttocks is a terracotta color, in profile facing to the viewer's right. The loincloth belt is white. The presence of a loincloth indicates that the person is a male.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

While the agricultural field appears to be a milli, the presence of the productive maize plant (a supplemental semantic indicator) may be a sign that this is an especially fertile and irrigated field, an amilli, or āmīlli, when we recognize vowel length. This word might have included a water element for the a- [from atl) at its start, but it does not show the water. Interestingly, the chinamitl in the Codex Mendoza (below, right) looks much like the amilli. Both involved agriculture with irrigation. The -co locative ("at") is added onto -tzin- ("little" or "lower" when referring to a place name), so the -co is not presented visually on its own. The locative -tzinco is what Gordon Whittaker calls a "secondary logogram." Frances Karttunen interprets the -tzinco ending to be a spin-off community, hence the "New" in New Amilco, her translation for the place name. There is an Amilcingo in the modern state of Morelos, Mexico.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

amilçinco. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Amiltzinco, 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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

cultivation, agriculture, maize, milpa, cornfield, buttocks, bottom, rear end, nalgas, trasero, agricultura, maíz, elote, irrigation, riego

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

a(tl), water,
amil(li), irrigated agricultural parcel,
mil(li), agricultural parcel,
tzin(tli), buttocks),
-tzinco (locative suffix given to a spin-off community),

Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"New Āmīlco" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Small Irrigated Lands" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 171)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Nuevo Amilco"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 25 recto,, image 60 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).