itztli (Mdz30r)

itztli (Mdz30r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for an obsidian knife (itztli) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Tzinhuitzquilocan. It is an upright leaf shape, an oval pointed at both ends. It is black with four white teeth running vertically up the left side. The teeth are surrounded by a curving red line that suggests gums.

Description, Credit: 

Offerings from graves found in the Templo Mayor show these types of blades could be decorated with faces (see the realia image below which shows a light-brown blade which seems to have an eye, among other additions).

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

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

Photo, by Robert Haskett, of Offering 125, taken 2/25/2023.

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

itz(tli), a sharp-bladed instrument of obsidian,

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

obsidian knife

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 30 recto,, image 70 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).