apantli (Mdz39r)

apantli (Mdz39r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for a canal or a water channel (apantli) has been carved from the compound place name Ocoapan. The canal is open on the right side (from the viewer's perspective), and the water, a turquoise blue, is spilling out. The container of the water, shown as a cross section, is yellow with hash marks. The water has its typical black lines apparently meant to show currents, and splashing off from the flow are two turbinate shells and one droplet with concentric circles. These additions are white.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The apantli is largely included in compound place names as a phonetic indicator for the locative suffix, "on the waters of," and this one is no exception. The hash marks, running perpendicularly to the horizontal and vertical edging of the canal, may be suggestive of construction, making this more of a canal than a ditch. It is usually closed on the right side as well as the left, but not in this case.

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


water ways, channels, canals, canales, agua

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

Sobre los Aguas de los Pinos, Sobre los Aguas de los Ocotes

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 
Image Source, Rights: 

Original manuscript is held by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1; used here with the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)

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