teocalli (Mdz10r)

teocalli (Mdz10r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This iconographic example shows a twin temple (teocalli) facing the viewer front-on. Two structures sit atop a shared, wide staircase, which nevertheless has a division down the center. The double staircase is wider at the bottom than at the top, and there are reinforcements where the angular frame shifts to go straight to the top. Two building sit atop this twin temple. The top left structure has an open doorway that is framed by turquoise-colored beams. There are two vertical hash marks at the center of the horizontal turquoise beams, reminiscent of the "hua" element found in some glyphs. It almost has the shape of a regular building (calli), but its crest-like roof is elongated and decorated with a square that contains three vertical rectangles. The structure on the right has an open doorway that is framed by multicolored beams, predominantly red but with white and yellow stripes toward the bottom of the framing. This building also has an additional crest-like roof structure of the same height but a different design. This one has fifteen white circles, one of them (at the top and center) being a big larger than the others.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The gloss conveys the message that this teocalli is located at Tlatelolco. A photograph of the ruined temple at Tlatelolco today, published in Wikipedia, shows a foundation something like the one in this drawing from the Codex Mendoza.

The beams of various colors and designs are surely laden with meaning. But, for now, some information is known about these ubiquitous beams in the various kinds of buildings called calli. In the Primeros Memoriales we learn that the upright pillars also have the name tlaquetzalli (probably from the verb, quetza, to stand) and the lintels are tlaxquitl (possibly some relation to -ixqui, the front edge of an eyelid, if Nahuas thought of the entryway as an open eye?). [See: Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, Primeros Memoriales, ed. Thelma D. Sullivan, et al. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), 226.]

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

tlatilulco. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Tlatelolco, pueblo (in the contemporary spelling)

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Shapes and Perspectives: 

temples, templos con crestería, arquitectura, religión indígena

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

el templo

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 10 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 30 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

Original manuscript is held by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1; used here with the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)