Tenantzinco (Mdz34r)

Tenantzinco (Mdz34r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Tenantzinco has two principal visual components, a parapet (tenantli). This parapet has step-shaped crenelation, outlined in turquoise and with a red rectangular center. Below the crenelation is a horizontal band containing three concentric circles of turquoise in the outer band and red in the center. Outside the circles, there is a red background color and around that a rectangular outline in turquoise. Underneath the parapet is the lower half of a male figure. The knees are up as though the man was in the classic male Nahua sitting position in Nahua culture. The reference provided by the body is to the buttocks, bottom, or seat (tzintli), but here meaning "little" or "lower." The -co locative ("at") is not presented visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The tenantli recalls some ramparts still surviving in Classic Period Teotihuacan, and the circles can be found on images of the temples in the hear of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. Below, right, the viewer can compare this tenantli with others. Some are red and turquoise and some are just turquoise. The groups of stepped components will face left or right. One, the stone tenantli is missing the circles. The buttocks provides the phonetic indicator for -tzin- (a diminutive, and in place names this it often means little or lower). When combined with the -co locative, the place names ends in -tzinco, which in this case would mean "Little Tenanco," or "Lower Tenanco."

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Tenantzinco, 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): 

little, lower, lesser, bottoms, rear ends, buttocks, walls, ramparts, almenas, paredes, bajo, pequeño, nalgas, trasero

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

tenan(tli), wall, fortification, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tenantli
tenam(itl), wall, fortification, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tenamitl
tzin(tli), buttocks), https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tzintli
-tzinco (diminutive in place names), at the little or lower, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tzinco
-co (locative suffix), at, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/co

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"At Lesser Tenanco [At the Walls]" [Gordon Whittaker, Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 104]

Whittaker's Transliteration: 


Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 34 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 78 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).