atl (MH486r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black and white drawing of the glyphic element for water (atl) has been carved from the compound hieroglyph for the personal name Amiztlato. It consists of three small streams of water with a droplet (or jade bead) at the tip of each stream.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Atl can take many shapes and forms. Instead of only droplets (or jade beads) at the tips of the streams, some streams will also have turbinate shells that alternate with the droplets. Below, we provide two much like this one, but they are from the Codex Mendoza. They show how water, when colored, is typically given a turquoise blue.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jose Aguayo-Barragan

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

el agua

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 483r, World Digital Library.

Image Source, Rights: 

This manuscript is hosted by the Library of Congress and the World Digital Library; used here with the Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SAq 3.0).

Historical Contextualizing Image: