atl (Mdz53r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for water (atl) has been carved from the compound glyph for the place name, Atlan. The water is contained in what appears to be a canal (apantli) although the value is just "a" and not "apan." The container is a yellow band of color around three sides of the trapezoidal shape. The water is painted turquoise and has wavy lines of currents (and two are especially thick and black). White water droplets/beads (with small, concentric circles) and white turbinate shells splash off the top of the water.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Below, right, appear various examples where atl and apantli have been used interchangeably, although there are strong patterns for which these are exceptions to the rule.

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, canales, zanjas de agua, dientes

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).