Chicuei Tecpatl (Mdz2r)

Chicuei Tecpatl (Mdz2r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This representation of a solar year (xihuitl) date, Eight Flint (or Eight Flint Knife), has the notation of eight in the form of five circles on the top left and three additional circles in the top right corner. None of these circles have dots or concentric circles inside them. Below the notation is the simplex glyph for the flint knife, upright and with a diagonal line across it. The entire date (including the background) is painted a turquoise color, and it is enclosed in a black line-drawing box, as shown here.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

A boxed-in date says this refers to a year. The turquoise wash over the date is a visual reminder that these are dates, given that green and blue-green (xihuitl) is a homophone with the word for year (xihuitl).

The presentation of the notation, in two groups of ones (five and three) is like a math equation. It also echoes the language of chicuei, which is chiuc- or chico- (five) combined with eyi (three). While the stand-alone number for five is macuilli, the combining form (chico, chiuc, etc.) means "on one side," and it refers to having counted on one whole hand already and then adding fingers from the other hand, the other side. See our dictionary entries for chico and chiuc-.

Added 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

Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

dates, fechas, ones, numbers, números, years, años, pedernales, xiuhpohualli, turquesa, xihuitl

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

Ocho Pedernal

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 02 recto,, image 14 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).