Azcapotzalco (Mdz5v)

Azcapotzalco (Mdz5v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph stands for the place name Azcapotzalco. The ant (azcatl), in profile facing the viewer's left, is surrounded by a mound (potzalli), which appears to be comprised of rocks (tetl) and sand (xalli), neither of which play a phonetic role in the place name, however. The locative, -co, is not pictured, but perhaps the landscape feature provides a semantic locative.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The antennae, the fangs, and the segmented body of the ant are all details that are rather remarkable. Artists paid close attention to insects and provided the details that might be necessary to identify them. Another example is the grasshopper. Some of this may be owing to the consumption of insects. Ants' eggs are still consumed in Mexico in April and May in a dish called "escamoles" in Mexican Spanish (from azcatl, ant, and molli, sauce, in Nahuatl). This example of the letter "a" going to the letter "e" (at the start of escamoles) is not terribly unusual in Nahuatl; think of pia/piye or even pie (Nahuatl for: to have, to keep).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

azcapuçalco. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Azcapotzalco, 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): 

ants, hormigas, mounds, montículos

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Ant Hill Place" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Ant Heap" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 175)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"En el Hormiguero"

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).

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