This pictogram is one of the oldest known accounts of earthquakes in the Americas

A 50-page codex of colorful, complex pictograms that dates to the early 16th century includes the most complete — and one of the oldest — written chronologies of early earthquakes in the Americas.

The Telleriano-Remensis, which was created by an unknown pre-Hispanic civilization, describes 12 separate earthquakes that rocked what’s now Mexico and Central America from 1460 to 1542, researchers report August 25 in Seismological Research Letters. The famous codex was written by specialists called tlacuilos, meaning “those who write painting” in the Nahuatl language spoken by Aztecs and other pre-Hispanic civilizations in the area (SN: 3/13/20).

Using other codices from the region, researchers had previously identified the combination

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