Atzaccan (Mdz18r)

Atzaccan (Mdz18r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

In this simplex glyph for the place name Atzaccan (or Atzacan) a human (left) hand closes (tzacui) a lid on a box of water (atl). The water is a classic turquoise blue with black lines of varying thickness, showing movement or currents. The water also has a swirl in the middle, and droplets/beads and turbinate shells splash off the top. The container is a terracotta color, possibly indicating wood.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The entrapped water may be in a lock, sluice, or water valve. The word for a person who managed such things was an "atzacqui" ("el que cierra o atapa el agua que corre" in Alonso de Molina's Vocabulario). The locative suffix -can is not shown visually. Because the stem ends in a -c and the locative suffix is -can, I have normalized the gloss, inserting the extra (-c), but they may be properly merged into one, as shown in the gloss. Most studies of the glyph have kept it with the spelling Atzacan.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

atzacan. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Atzaccan, pueblo (or possibly Atzacan)

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): 

locks, sluices, water controls, hands, arms, water, shells, esclusas, control de agua, manos, brazos, conchas

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

a(tl), water,
tzacui--, to enclose something,
atzac(qui), one who closes off or stops up the flow of water,
atza(cualoni), a plug or stopper for stopping a body of water,
-can (locative suffix),

Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Where Water Is Enclosed" -- note the hand closing the lid, which expresses the action verb, tzacui [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Place of the Sluice" (Berdan & Anawalt, v. 1, p. 173)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Donde El Agua Está Encerrada"

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).