atl (Mdz20v)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for water (atl) has been carved from the compound glyph for the place name Cuitlahuac. The water is in a yellow container which surrounds the water on three sides and has curling ends. It has black wavy lines and a turquoise-blue wash. The water has a white water droplet/bead between two white turbinate shells.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The water is contained ("hua") within a canal (apantli), but the canal only provides the sound "a" for water (atl), not the "apan" locative suffix for "on the water."

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, or by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


waterways, canals

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

el agua

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 20 verso,, image 51 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).