Codex Nuttall

Codex Nutall title page
Adoption Amount: $550
Category: Preserve for the Future
Location: John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology

Codex Nuttall; facsimile of an ancient Mexican codex belonging to Lord Zouche of Harynworth, England

Cambridge, Mass.: Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 1902.

This 1902 facsimile is one of a small number of codices of native pictography from Mexico dating to pre-Hispanic times.  The original is a screenfold manuscript comprised of 47 leaves of deer skin now in the British Museum.  It uses a kind of picture writing to relate two narratives.  One side of the screenfold tells the history of important Mixtec centers.  The other side, starting at the opposite end, records the genealogy, marriages, and military and political accomplishments of the Mixtec ruler, Eight Deer.  Also included is one of the earliest portrayals of the sacred drink xocotatl made with cacao.

Condition and Treatment: 

A two part reproduction of an ancient Mexican codex. The first part is a pamphlet explaining the text. It is covered in a thin rice paper that has multiple tears. The second part is the codex reproduction. It is a large accordion book with one board detached. Conservators will repair the tears to the pamphlet and re-attach the board.

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