Zacatollan (Mdz38r)

Zacatollan (Mdz38r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Zacatollan includes two obvious elements, yellow grasses and green tules or reeds. Four sprigs of yellow grasses (zacatl) appear behind three green reeds (tolin) that have white bases and small, rounded protrusions toward the top of the stalks. The green of the reeds has two tones, with the darker green on what may be the outside and a lighter green on the inside

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

We are accepting that the locative suffix is -tlan (place of) rather than -tla (or tlah-) (place of abundance of), but as always, this can be deceptive if there is an intrusive "n" or one that has inadvertently dropped away. The base of the tules consists of something resembling white teeth, which may be a coincidence. But the teeth (tlantli), if they were indeed meant to be read, could provide the phonetic dimension -tlan.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Zacatollan, pueblo

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: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Number of Parts, Other / Comment: 

Or possibly three, if the -tlan locative suffix is visible at the base of the tules.

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

grasses, tules, zacate, pasto, Zacatulan, Zacatullan, Çacatulan, Çacatolan, Çcacatollan

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

"Grass-Reed Place" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Place Where Grass and Reeds Abound" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. )

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"El Lugar del Zacate-Juncia" o "Lugar del Zacate-Espadaña"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 38 recto,, 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).