atl (Mdz7v)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for water (atl) has been carved from the personal name Atonal. We have removed the four red circles relating to the part of the name that expressed tonalli (day, sun, or the solar animating force). This representation of water is a cross-section of a water channel, outlined in yellow, with curling ends, and filled with turquoise blue water.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Perhaps because this glyph had to be small, originally being attached to the head of the man whose name is Atonal, the water does not contain the wavy black lines that typically seem to show currents. We do see considerable interchangeability between atl and apantli (the latter being the canal or water channel), but the curling ends on right and left seem to be more common when the canal is a part of a date glyph.

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

Shapes and Perspectives: 

saters, canals, water channels, agua, canales

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 7 verso,, image 25, 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).

Historical Contextualizing Image: