General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 8 May 2021/9 Flower
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The original Codex Mendoza is in the Bodleian Library Oxford

Aztec Books and Writing

We launched this section a few years ago with a short introductory piece on Aztec books written for young people by our in-house researcher Julia Flood. It’s steadily building up into a little treasure trove of information on the history of paper making and book writing in ancient Mesoamerica. We’re now adding to it regularly...

’An Aztec manuscript is not read in the normal sense of the word, but is deciphered like a puzzle picture in which the glyphs provide labels and clues to what is going on...’ (Warwick Bray)

We recommend, for both teachers and students, the resource pages on Codices, Writing/Language, Paper, and more on the website of the NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers, Oaxaca 2015, link below...

‘Tooth place’: some Aztec place glyphs in the Codex Mendoza

‘How did the Spanish translate what the Aztecs wrote?’

‘How did scribes get rid of mistakes when they wrote their books?’

NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers, Oaxaca 2015

‘Was the Voynich manuscript written in Nahuatl?’

The ‘bottom’ line in codex writingGetting to the ‘bottom’ of it -

the creative use of a glyph...

‘Codex Corner’: odd one outWhich representation of the Templo Mayor

do you think is the odd one out...?

What did scribes write WITH?What did scribes write WITH

in ancient Mesoamerica?

‘Codex Corner’: the last page of the Codex BoturiniThe mysterious two characters on the

last page of the Codex Boturini...

‘Codex Corner’: Different names for ancient booksAncient Mexican books have been called

lots of different things, not just ‘codices’...

‘Codex Corner’: Codex Re-namingA movement is growing to give ancient

Mexican codices more authentic names

Mixtec ideographic designsThe Mixtecs were masters in metallurgy, lapidary work,

fine carving, and in the making of pictorial manuscripts

An Introduction to pre-Hispanic Mixtec CodicesMixtec codices: the only set of pre-Hispanic documents

(other than Maya books) to survive the Spanish invasion

Good introductions to Mexica writingWe recommend some good introductions

to studying Mexica (Aztec) writing...

Flower PowerIn the poetic language of the Aztecs the flower

was perhaps the most powerful metaphor of all

‘Codex Corner’: mistaken identityThe Codex Laud (Códice Mictlan) was first thought

to be an Egyptian hieroglyphic book...

‘Codex Corner’: soundHear the crackly sound of an elderly Mexica scholar

turning the pages of a dry, hard codex...

‘Codex Corner’: coloursMexica scribes changed (flower-based) colours

just by putting the brushes into their mouths...

Aztec PapermakingThe Aztecs valued paper almost more

than any other substance...

Hi-tech imaging of two Aztec codices in ParisStudying the surface of codices

is a bit like studying the surface of the moon

The ‘art of memory’: sonnet versus songThe ‘art of memory’: a Shakespearean sonnet

compared to a Nahua song-poem...

Bark painting in MexicoThe constant tapping sound -

- of bark paper making in San Pablito...

Reconstructing a Mesoamerican codexScientists in Holland attempt

to reconstruct a Mesoamerican codex...

Conference on Mesoamerican Manuscripts 2016Some of the secrets of the codices at the Bodleian Library

are revealed by non-invasive research tecniques...

The Codex CospiThe Codex Cospi was once thought

in Europe to be of Chinese origin!

2nd London Study Day and Workshop on NahuatlWe report back on the 2nd London

Nahuatl Study Day and Workshop...

3rd Nahuatl Study Day in LondonOur report on the 3rd London

Nahuatl Study Day...

4th Nahuatl Study Day in LondonOur report on the 4th London

Nahuatl Study Day and Workshop

A tale of two ‘tlacuilos’A modern-day ‘tlacuilo’

has a sad tale to tell...