tzompantli (Mdz17v)

tzompantli (Mdz17v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph for a skull rack (tzompantli) doubles for the place name Tzompanco. It has a horizontal platform colored purple. Upon the platform are two vertical pieces of wood and a narrower horizontal cross bar, all colored terracotta. The cross bar penetrates a white skull, cutting through the back of the head and protruding from the mouth. The skull is in profile.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The tzompantli that is part of the compound sign for the place name Tzompahuacan has a red eyelid, giving it the appearance of the ixtli (eye/face) sign. Also, that skull rack sits on more of a teopan base.

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

Shapes and Perspectives: 

skulls, calaveras

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

tzompantli. A version in stone from the Museo del Templo Mayor. Photograph by Robert Haskett, 15 February 2023.

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 17 verso,, image 45 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).