Tlachco (Mdz8r)

Tlachco (Mdz8r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph of a ball court (tlachtli) doubles as the place name Tlachco (today, Taxco). The -co (locative suffix) is not represented visually. It is shaped like a capital letter "i," with a yellow border and a quadripartite division into four distinctly colored sections; if one begins in the upper right corner and proceed clockwise, the colors are red, turquoise, yellow, and green. This ball court does have rings (or goals for the ball), one on each side, in the middle of the court.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

While the locations of the colors can change from glyph to glyph (as our attestations show), they are the same four colors that appear, which is surely not a coincidence, although the meaning has yet to be determined. These are not the same four colors as the cardinal directions.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

tlachco. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Tlachco, pueblo (Taxco, today)

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


ballcourt, ball game, ballgame, capital letter I shape, balls, courts, pelotas, canchas, games juegos

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

Tlach-co = "En el sitio del juego de pelota"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Miguel León-Portilla, "Los nombres de lugar en náhuatl," Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl 15 (1982), 42.

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 8 recto,, image 26, 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).