tetl (Mdz48r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for stone (tetl) comes from a compound place name, Teuhcoltzapotitlan. It is a horizontal oval shape, with curling elements at both ends. It is two toned, orange-brown and purple, with each color dominating one of the ends of the oval and encompassing the curly parts. It has a wavy diagonal line across its middle, which is an important recurring design element.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The curly elements are sometimes all that a compound glyph might contain to indicate a landscape element with a rocky nature, such as we see on both sides of the tepetl (hill or mountain) sign, which begins with te-, probably not coincidentally. The wavy diagonal lines (possibly meant to indicate strata or cracks or, by curving, provides a three-dimensionality) is another element that provides a good clue to the intention of te(tl) in some compounds. The orange and purple coloring of the tetl can be the inverse of this example, such as we see in the tetl found in the compound glyph Itztecoyan on the same folio, 48 recto.

Note, in the museum comparison image below, the same diagonal wavy lines and the curling ends of the stone.

Added 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

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

SVG of Glyph: 
SVG Image, Credit: 

Crystal Boulton-Scott made the SVG.

Museum & Rare Book Comparisons: 
Museum/Rare Book Notes: 

tetl. Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Salón Mexica. Photograph by Robert Haskett, 14 February 2023.

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

stone or rock

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la piedra o la roca

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 48 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 106 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).