The Etruscan Collection




The museum possesses a small, but in this region unique collection of Etruscan material. The best known and certainly the most valuable item is the famous linen book of Zagreb (Liber linteus Zagrabiensis), a manuscript with the longest preserved text in the Etruscan language, and simultaneously the only preserved example of a linen book in the entire classical world. The book is something like a liturgical calendar, with dates cited and religious precepts relating to sacrifices offered to individual deities. According to some interpretations, the text would have been written in Italy, the native land of the Etruscans, but some consider that it was written in Egypt, the country where it was purchased in the 19th century. In a period when the manuscript no longer served its original liturgical purpose, the "book" was cut into strips, several of which served an unknown embalmer as wrappings for the mummified body of the deceased (the Zagreb Mummy).

Other Etruscan artifacts include an interesting terracotta urn with a lid, probably of Chiusian origin, as well as a very rare terracotta bust. The museum also has a modest collection of Etruscan coinage, the only one of its kind in Croatia.

Cuneiform Inscriptions from Mesopotamia

The Ancient Egyptian Collection includes a special group of artifacts from Mesopotamia. These are seven documents from the 3rd dynasty of Ur (2111-2003 BC), as well as two fragments of cuneiform inscriptions on bricks of the Assyrian King Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC) and on one brick of the Chaldean ruler Nebuchadnezzar II (604-563 BC).

Pre-Columbian Pottery

The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb possesses some pottery from the Pre-Columbian period of Latin American region. The four pottery artifacts belong to two prehispanic cultures - Chimor and Chancay - settled in the Andes of Peru from 1100 to 1470 AD.