Tecpan (Mdz5v)

Tecpan (Mdz5v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Tecpan, includes a building with small, concentric black and white circles that indicate it is a palace. It also includes a turquoise-colored diadem (with a red, possibly leather, tie) of the type worn by high noble males, or lords (teuctli), which also makes it clear that this is a palace. The building is a standard calli in the way it is shown in a profile view (in this case, facing the viewer's left), with its t-shaped wooden beams supporting the entrance. But is is a special type of building, and cal- does not figure in the phonetic reading, if we go by the gloss. The word tecpan has a built-in locative suffix of sorts (-pan, in or on), and the building would provide a semantic locative, too.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The diadem (called a xiuhhuitzolli) is the usual glyph for the title tecuhtli. Gordon Whittaker (Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 79) notes that the diadem provides support the reading of the building as a tecpan, and therefore it is a "semantic indicator."

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Tecpan, 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

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

lords, palaces, diadems, teuctli, palacios, diademas, señores

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


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).