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Liber and the Mummy

The book’s title refers to the two most famous objects from the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb: the Zagreb Mummy and the Linen Book of Zagreb, or in Latin—Liber Linteus Zagrabiensis.
The mummy, wrapped in linen bands bearing inscriptions, was purchased in Egypt in 1848 by Mihael Barić, and displayed at his home in Vienna. In 1862 the mummy and its wrappings were transferred to Zagreb and then stored at the National Museum, the predecessor of the Archaeological Museum.

Among the items accompanying the mummy as part of the grave goods was a papyrus written in hieratic. From the legible sections, it could be deciphered that the name of the mummified woman was Nesi-hensu, and that she was the wife of Paher-hensu, a "divine tailor" from Thebes.

The significance of the wrappings was not noticed until 1892 when Austrian scholar and Egyptologist Jakob Krall identified it as the only extant linen book containing the longest text in the Etruscan language ever discovered, dated to approximately 390 BCE. The fabric of the book was preserved when it was used for mummy wrappings in Ptolemaic Egypt. It remains mostly untranslated because of the lack of knowledge about the Etruscan language, though the few words which can be understood indicate that the text is most likely a ritual calendar.

This bilingual publication consists of texts written by authors from the fields of history, linguistics, radiology, and graphology, divided into three parts: History, The Etruscan language, and Recent research.

Liber and the Mummy
Publisher: Archaeological Museum in Zagreb
Pages: 94
Language: Croatian, English
ISBN: 978-953-8143-34-2

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