The Codex Telleriano Remensis, created within the 16th century in Mexico, depicts earthquakes in pictograms that are the principle written evidence of earthquakes within the Americas in pre-Hispanic instances, in step with a pair of researchers who beget systematically studied the country’s historical earthquakes.

Gerardo Suárez of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Virginia García-Acosta of the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social studied pictograms reporting 12 earthquakes within the Telleriano-Remensis, taking place between 1460 and 1542.

The pictograms provide puny data on the placement, dimension or atomize resulted in by the earthquakes, the authors stamp within the journal Seismological Compare Letters. But alongside with other historical accounts came all the way in which via in annals written after the Spanish conquest, they lengthen the build’s seismic history aid into the 15th century.

“It is now not glorious that pre Hispanic records exist describing earthquakes for 2 causes,” acknowledged Suárez. “Earthquakes are frequent in this country and, secondly, earthquakes had a profound which formula within the cosmological explore of the favorite inhabitants of what’s now Mexico.”

Mesoamerican civilizations considered the universe as cyclical, with successive eras or “suns” destroyed by floods, wind, fireplace and other phenomena earlier than the appears to be like to be like of a brand novel sun. The novel and fifth “sun, “in step with this explore, will be destroyed by earthquakes.

Suárez and García-Acosta started discovering out historical earthquakes in Mexico after the devastating magnitude 8.0 Mexico Metropolis earthquake in 1985, within the ruin publishing their findings within the e-book Los sismos en la historia de México. “Then again, we had no longer tackled the pictographic representation of earthquakes,” acknowledged Suárez. “We currently embarked on a extra detailed see of this pictographic representation and other texts written without delay after the Spanish conquest.”

Codex writing, a pre-Hispanic machine of symbols and colours, used to be carried out by trained consultants known as tlacuilos (within the favorite Nahuatl language, “of us who write listing”). Whereas many codices were burned as pagan objects after the Spanish conquest, some survived and the pictographic model used to be outmoded in novel codices up into the 18th century.

The Codex Telleriano-Remensis is written on European paper, with explanations or “glosses” written in Latin, Spanish and barely Italian by later commentators alongside the symbols.

Earthquakes, known as tlalollin within the Nahuatl language, are represented by two indicators: ollin (circulation) and tlalli (earth). Ollin is a glyph consisting of four helices and a central watch or circle. Tlalli is a glyph consisting of 1 or several layers stuffed with dots and diverse colours.

Within the Telleriano-Remensis, there are other changes of the earthquake glyphs, but their meanings are no longer obvious to students. “Then again, the consensus is that the a noteworthy series of representations presumably pause beget a which formula,” Suárez acknowledged. “Drawing codices used to be a strict discipline no longer open to inventive whims of the of us trained to total it, the tlacuilos. We’re hopeful that within the lengthy flee an unknown codex or document might well moreover just appear that might divulge us in this appreciate.”

Suárez and García-Acosta stamp that other annals provide data that enhances the codex earthquake drawings, per chance filling in additional particulars in regards to the impacts and locations of mutter earthquakes. As an instance, a historical epic by the Franciscan friar Juan de Torquemada describes a 1496 earthquake that shook three mountains in “Xochitepec province, alongside the hover” and resulted in landslides in an characteristic inhabited by the Yope of us.

The net page is within the Guerrero seismic gap, a build of relative seismic restful alongside the subduction zone in southern Mexico. The historical descriptions imply that the 1496 earthquake might well moreover had been a certainly mountainous earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or bigger within the gap. There had been no recorded earthquakes of that magnitude within the gap since 1845.

The historical evidence “certainly doesn’t alternate our explore of the seismic doable of that build in southern Mexico,” Suárez defined. “It merely adds additional evidence that mountainous earthquakes beget occurred in this section of the subduction zone earlier than, and the absence of these most famous earthquakes for several years have to now not be belief to be as although this build is aseismic.”

The researchers blueprint to see other codices that are no longer as famed as the Telleriano-Remensis, but beget to this point been unable to discover admission to the libraries that abet them on account of COVID-19 restrictions.

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