A Rare 400-Year-Old Nahuatl Map Of Mexico Is Now Available Online

A rare 400-year-old Nahuatl Map, Codex Quetzalecatzin, was recently added by the United States Library of Congress to its online collection. It helps to illustrate the history of Mexico and the time at when the natives came in contact with the Spanish Empire. The map was made in 1593 by the indigenous Nahua people and has been digitized to be viewed online. You can access it here.

The Library of Congress acquired the map from the French collection of Charles Ratton and Guy Ladriere. But before that it was passed down private collectors for over 100 years.

“[The] map covers southern Puebla from the church of Todos Santos, Ecatepec (now suburb to the north east of modern-day Mexico City), and Lake Texcoco (now the National Reserve “El Caracol”) to the church of Santa Cruz Huitziltepec, Pue at the lower right, with the lower portion of the map crossed by what appears to be the Atoyac River in northern Oaxaca.” – LOC

As Live Science notes “some hieroglyphic labels are translated with the Latin alphabet. ”
The names “don Alonso” and “don Matheo” imply that some of the locals were baptized into catholicism.

The codex also “shows churches, some Spanish place names and images suggesting a community adapting to Spanish law and rule,” said John Hessler, curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection for the Archaeology of the Early Americas of the Library of Congress.


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