Contlan (Mdz21v)

Contlan (Mdz21v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Contlan includes two prominent features, an apparently ceramic container, a pot (comitl) and two, white, front teeth (tlantli) with red gums, which provide the phonetic value for the locative suffix -tlan (place of). The pot shown here has a large, round body, with a narrowing at the neck, a widening at the top, and two tiny, half-circular handles. It appears to be ceramic, given the terracotta color.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This is a place probably known for its ceramic pots, jugs, or pitchers. The locative suffix -tla (or -tlah, if we include the glottal stop) would suggest an abundance of pots, but the gloss includes a final "n" for -tlan (place of) as the locative suffix. So, while it might not be a place of "many pots," it seems to be a place known for its pots, which amounts to about the same thing. Another example a town of a similar name in the area of Huexotzinco today is "Contla." It is not unusual for a final "n" to disappear.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

contlan. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Contla, 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

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

pots, ollas, pitchers, vessels, dientes

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

comi(tl), ceramic vessel for liquids, pot(s),
tlan(tli), tooth/teeth,
-tlan (locative suffix), by, near, among,

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Where There Are Many Pots" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 181)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"El Lugar de las Ollas"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 21 verso,, image 53 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).