tecpatl (TR2r)

tecpatl (TR2r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This glyph-like pointed oval example of a tecpatl (flint knife) is an example of iconography. We are calling it a tecpatl based on the Spanish-language gloss, cuchillo (knife) and its appearance. It is not perfectly upright, but rather tipped slightly to the viewer's right. It is black and dark yellow, the two colors separated by a curving line. The dark yellow part has four barely-visible teeth.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Flint knives often had faces, including teeth, anthropomorphizing them but also linking them to deities or divine forces. These knives were used for sacrificial acts. Tecpatl is also both a year sign and a day sign in the tonalpohualli calendar.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


xiuhpohualli, año

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

el cuchillo

Image Source: 

The Codex Telleriano-Remensis is hosted on line by the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8458267s/f29.item. We have taken this detail shot from folio 2 recto.

Image Source, Rights: 

This manuscript is not copyright protected, but please cite Gallica, the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France or cite this Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs, ed. Stephanie Wood (Eugene, Ore.: Wired Humanities Projects, 2020–present).

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