itztli (Mdz23r)

itztli (Mdz23r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for a obsidian blade or knife (itztli) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Itztepec (below, right). It is a thin, black blade, curving to the viewer's right.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The curves are the result of a special technique of flint knapping. For photographs of curved, prismatic blades, see "The Lost Art of Aztec Prismatic Blades." The Art Institute of Chicago has some early blades, including a curved one, from the autonomous era.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

flint knives, cuchillos de pedernal

Museum & Rare Book Comparisons: 
Museum/Rare Book Notes: 

itztli. This obsidian knife blade was found in an offering at the Templo Mayor. Photograph by Stephanie Wood, Museo del Templo Mayor, 15 February 2023; this commentary and photo editing by Robert Haskett.

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

Obsidian knife

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).

See Also: