Atlan (Mdz18r)

Atlan (Mdz18r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph has two visual elements: water (atl) and teeth (tlantli). The teeth provide the phonetic -tlan, locative suffix. The teeth are two top, front teeth, with a red gum above. The water is actually a cross-section of a canal, lined on the sides and bottom by three layers of construction, the outermost is green with perpendicular yellow hash tags, then a yellow liner inside that, and finally a red liner. The water has black wavy lines of varying thicknesses, with two especially thick black lines toward the middle. Splashing off the top of the water are white droplets (or local jade beads, chalchihuites) and turbinate shells.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

As Karttunen has noted, the locative suffix is -tlan, not -tla 9or tlah, recognizing the glottal stop]. The latter would imply abundance, where as -tlan simply refers to a place.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

atlan--- puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Atlan, pueblo

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, or by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

water, teeth, shells, agua, dientes, caracoles, canals, canales

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Water Place" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"In the Water" (Whittaker, 2021, 69); "Place of Much Water" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 172)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"En el Agua" o "El Lugar del Agua"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 18 recto,, image 46 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).