American Treasures of the Library of Congress - Top Treasures

Nahua Numbering System

This document, or codex, is a precise accounting in graphic images and recorded testimony of many of the products made by the people of Huexotzinco and paid as tribute. These products included corn (maize), turkeys, chili peppers, and beans, as well as bricks, lumber, limestone, and woven cloth. The accountants also included the amount of gold and feathers used to produce a banner of the Madonna and Child for a Spanish military campaign. This representation of the Madonna and Child is one of the earliest to be produced in the Americas.

20 = 20

20 turkeys = 20 turkeys

400 = 400

400 bushels of corn = 400 bushels of corn

8,000 = 8,000

8,000 chili peppers = 8,000 chili peppers

1 load of adobe bricks = 1 load of adobe bricks

1 load of lime = 1 load of lime

.

1 load of lumber = 1 load of lumber


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