tlantli (Mdz3v)

tlantli (Mdz3v)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for tlantli (teeth has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Toltitlan. In that compound, the teeth served as a phonogram, but here, simply representing the noun for teeth, it is a logogram. This element consists of a seven teeth (but no lips or gums) in a profile view, embedded in a tree trunk. The "mouth" is open to the outside world. The teeth, which are arranged in a sideways U shape (including what would be a tooth at the back of the mouth) are white, outlined in black. The tree around them is green.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Gordon Whittaker (Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 102) has discovered that the full set of teeth (top and bottom) are used when there is a ligature (-ti-) before the locative suffix -tlan. Toltitlan has this -titlan ending, which supports his interpretation.

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: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

tooth, teeth, locatives, place,

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

teeth or place

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 
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).