Teapetlatl (CmpRG)

Teapetlatl (CmpRG)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This is a compound glyph for the word teapetlatl, “stone platform at the base of a pyramid.” It appears on the Mapa de Cempoala (Cempohuallan, in the original Nahuatl, and Zempoala, Hidalgo, today). The map accompanies the 1580 Relación Geográfica de Cempoala. The glyph shows four red, intersecting stones (tetl), the center covered with what may be a reed mat (petlatl) (but it is spotted, not woven), and on top of the petlatl there is a water symbol (atl). Thus, the glyph spells out the phonetic components tetl, atl, petlatl, but the water sign does not seem to have a semantic role in the words for foundations. The name as glossed lacks a locative (see below).

Description, Credit: 

Robert Haskett and Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This compound glyph appears on one edge of the map and is located next to a tree (see the historical contextualizing image). As it lacks a locative, it might show a still-visible stone platform that once actually did stand at the base of a now vanished pyramid at this site. There is no indication--perhaps an adjacent structure such as a Catholic church—that the glyph is naming a town or hamlet, nor is there any indication that this compound glyph is related to a natural feature. Given its location on the edge of Zempoala’s territory, it is possible that the platform had taken on a new role as a boundary marker (mojonera). For a study of the RG, see Mundy, Barbara E., “Mapping Babel: A Sixteenth-Century Indigenous Map from Mexico,” The Appendix, 1:4 (October 2013), Mundy (1996), and Ballesteros García (2005), 74-75, figure 48.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Robert Haskett and Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Zempoala, Hidalgo, Mexico

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

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

platform, plataforma, mat, estera, water, agua, stone, rock, piedra

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

teapetla(tl), stone platform at the base of a pyramid, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/teapetlatl
apetla(tl), platform at the bottom of a pyramid stairway, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/apetlatl
te(tl), rock, stone, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tetl-0
xopetla(tl), the foundation of a building, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xopetlatl
petla(tl), reed mat, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/petlatl

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la plataforma de piedra como base de una pirámide

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Relación de Cempoala - University of Texas Libraries Collections. 1580-11-01. https://collections.lib.utexas.edu/catalog/utblac:f87917e2-e3c9-4eb2-a83...

Image Source, Rights: 

Materials that are in the public domain (such as most of the maps in the PCL Map Collection) are not copyrighted, and no permission is needed to copy them. You may download them and use them as you wish. The image appears here courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin. If you do publish anything from this database, please cite the Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs.

Historical Contextualizing Image: