tepetl (Mdz38r)

tepetl (Mdz38r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element of a tepetl (hill/mountain) is serving here as a silent stand-in for a locative suffix. It has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Nochco, removing the cactus fruit at the top. This tepetl is the standard two-tone green bell shape with curly, rocky outcroppings on both left and right slopes and the horizontal red and yellow stripes near the base. The red line wraps around the yellow line at each end, following the curve of the bottom of the bell shape.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The rocky outcroppings on the left and right slopes provide a phonetic clue ("te") that this glyph is meant to be read "tepetl." Of course, mountains also typically have rocks. Regarding the yellow and red horizontal stripes, please see the article on Interiors.

Added 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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Xitlali Torres and Stephanie Wood


mountains, hills, montañas, cerros, altepetl, , stones, piedras, rocks, rocas

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

tepe(tl), a hill or mountain, or, in this case, a silent locative, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tepetl
te(tl) stone or rock, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tetl

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el cerro o la montaña

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 38 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 86 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).