tecpan (HJ276:79pt2:78r)

tecpan (HJ276:79pt2:78r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph shows a tecpan in profile facing to the left. It sports a typical colored band, in this case black, with a row of five white concentric circles just below the roof. Thin white stripes appear above and below this band with the circles. The entryway is framed with T-shaped beams, which may or may not have been wooden. A platform extends out from the entryway.

Description, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Added Analysis: 

This glyph appears on a pictorial manuscript submitted as evidence during a land dispute between the Cuernavacan community of Tecpan and the Marquesado del Valle. On October 11, 1549, the indigenous lords of this barrio (one of Cuernavaca’s principal subdivisions), don Diego, Francisco, and Agustín, submitted what may have been an oral petition—translated and transcribed in Spanish--along with a pintura in the name of the “other lords and Indians” of the community. The petitioners claimed that five years previously the Marqués del Valle had usurped a parcel of community land called Tetlaltitlan. The pictorial forms part of the so-called Códice del Marquesado del Valle. The depiction of a tecpan, or “palace,” here also serves as a glyph for the place name, Tecpan, referring to the barrio to which the land is said to belong. As shown in the contextualizing image, it is linked by a line to five concentric circles with mesh inside signifying that number of years (the determination that these are year signs comes from the litigation records). Since there is no Nahuatl text associated with these records the word that would have been used by the Nahua inhabitants to describe their community is not certain. For several works with information about and some analysis of the Códice del Marquesado del Valle, see Códices indígenas de algunos pueblos del Marquesado, 1933 and 1883, “Códice num. 8; Santiago Sánchez, Códices del Marquesado del Valle de Oaxaca, 114-118; and Von Mentz, Cuauhnáhuac 1450-1695, 118, 473.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Cuernavaca, Morelos

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Robert Haskett


architecture, construction, buildings, politics, power, governance, social hierarchy, elites, wooden things, arquitectura, construcción, edificios, palacios, poder, gobierno, jerarquía social, madera, xiuhpohualli, turquesa, xihuitl

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

la casa real, o el palacio

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Single-page codex, Archivo General de la Nación, México, Ramo de Hospital de Jesús, leg. 276, exp. 79, pt. 2, fol. 78r.

Image Source, Rights: 

The Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), México, holds the original manuscript. This image is published here under a Creative Commons license, asking that you cite the AGN and this Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs.

Historical Contextualizing Image: