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 Museum Explorer

Leaders and rulers in the Americas

Codex Zouche-Nuttall

Length: 113.500 cm
Height: 19.000 cm (page)
Width: 23.500 cm (page)

AOA Ethno Add. MS 39671

Codex Zouche-Nuttall

From: Mexico (Mixtec)
Date: AD 1200-1521

This is a page from an ancient Mexican book called a codex, painted on a long strip of folded deerskin. It was made by the Mixtec people, some of whom joined the Aztec empire. It uses a kind of picture-writing showing important Mixtec events, with special signs for names and dates.

The codex is read from right to left. One side tells the history of some Mixtec places, the other side is the story of the powerful ruler Eight Deer Jaguar-Claw. You can see him here centre top, sitting on a throne with his name next to him (8 circles and a deer's head).