calli (Mdz13r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element has been carved from a compound glyph that has water pouring over the top of the building, representing Apancalecan. This building is represented with rectangles in white (exteriors) and orange (lintel and entryway). The entrance to this house faces to our left, in a profile view. The building has a flat base, a relatively small vertical structure, and the roof involves a long overhang above the entrance.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Joaquín Galarza argued that this standard sign for calli was half of a building. But, if we flipped the building over and joined the two pieces together, the beam across the top would not be continuous.

The calli was a year sign in the Mesoamerican calendar. As a structure, it is a relatively streamlined building compared to other architectural types in this database. See, for example, the tecpan, with its added circular elements along the top, or the house made of planks that forms the glyph for Huapalcalco. Also, while calli typically translates into English as "house," the word also referred to other building types.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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


houses, buildings, architecture, casas, edificios, arquitectura, xiuhpohualli, año, turquesa, xihuitl

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

house (here, facing left)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la casa

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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).