Why I Called it the Place of Reeds

The setting is called the Place of Reeds and is based on the historical city of Teotihuacan. Teotihuacan means “place of the gods” in Nahuatl (Vogel, 1995); it is likely this is a latter name given to the ruins rather than what the inhabitants called it.

Teotihuacan appears in hieroglyphic texts from the Maya region as puh, or “Place of Reeds” (Schele & Mathews, 1998, cited in Wikipedia: Teotihuacan). The Nahuatl equivalent is Tollan which meant “Place of Rushes” and was the name of Tula, the Toltec capital, but also as alternative names for Tenochtitlan, Cholula and Teotihuacan (Davies, 1982; Miller & Taube, 1993). In both cases Place of Reeds or Rushes is a metaphor for a populous place or, more simply, a metropolis.


Davies, N. (1982). The Ancient Kingdoms of Mexico. Penguin.

Miller, M., & Taube, K. (1993). An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya. London: Thames & Hudson.

Schele, L. and Mathews, P. (1998). The Code of Kings: The Language of Seven Sacred Maya Temples and Tombs. New York: Scribner.

Vogel, S. (1995). Teotihuacan: History, Art and Monuments. Moncem Ediciones.

Wikipedia: Teotihuacan

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