apantli (Mdz13r)

apantli (Mdz13r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for apantli, colored turquoise blue, is largely horizontal. In the compound glyph from which it derives, it spills over the house beneath it—together, comprising the glyph for Apancalecan. Here, the apantli would seem to refer more to a river than a canal.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Typical of water signs, this one has alternating droplets or chalchihuitl (round jade stones) and turbinate-shaped shells, splashing off the main flow. Water can take many shapes, but the turquoise color, the indication of currents, and the alternating shells and droplets splashing off, are hallmarks. This visualization of water could possibly intend only the "a" [from atl) and not the "pan" part of the place name locative (both of which are the phonetics provided by apantli in many cases). Apantli (water channels) are typically presented as contained by walls on the sides and bottoms, but not always, as the attestations of apantli will show, below and to the right.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood



Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el agua

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).