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. The fabric of the book was preserved when it was used for mummy wrappings in Ptolemaic Egypt. The mummy was bought in Alexandria in and since both the mummy and the manuscript have been kept in Zagreb , Croatia , now in a refrigerated room at the Archaeological Museum. While in Alexandria , he purchased a sarcophagus containing a female mummy, as a souvenir of his travels. At some point he removed the linen wrappings and put them on display in a separate glass case, though it seems he had never noticed the inscriptions or their importance. The mummy remained on display at his home until his death in , when it passed into possession of his brother Ilija, a priest in Slavonia.
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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. The fabric of the book was preserved when it was used for mummy wrappings in Ptolemaic Egypt.
The mummy was bought in Alexandria in and since both the mummy and the manuscript have been kept in Zagreb , Croatia , now in a refrigerated room at the Archaeological Museum. While in Alexandria , he purchased a sarcophagus containing a female mummy, as a souvenir of his travels. At some point he removed the linen wrappings and put them on display in a separate glass case, though it seems he had never noticed the inscriptions or their importance.
The mummy remained on display at his home until his death in , when it passed into possession of his brother Ilija, a priest in Slavonia. As he took no interest in the mummy, he donated it in to the State Institute of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia in Zagreb the present-day Archaeological Museum in Zagreb.
Their catalogue described it as follows:. The mummy and its wrappings were examined the same year by the German Egyptologist Heinrich Brugsch , who noticed the text, but believed them to be Egyptian hieroglyphs. He did not undertake any further research on the text, until , when a chance conversation with Richard Burton about runes made him realise that the writing was not Egyptian.
They realised the text was potentially important, but wrongly concluded that it was a transliteration of the Egyptian Book of the Dead in the Arabic script.
In , the wrappings were transported to Vienna, where they were thoroughly examined by Jacob Krall , an expert on the Coptic language , who expected the writing to be either Coptic, Libyan or Carian. Krall was the first to identify the language as Etruscan and reassemble the strips.
It was his work that established that the linen wrappings constituted a manuscript written in Etruscan. At first, the provenance and identity of the mummy were unknown, due to the irregular nature of its excavation and sale. This led to speculation that the mummy may have had some connection to either the Liber Linteus or the Etruscans. But a papyrus buried with her proves that she was Egyptian and gives her identity as Nesi-hensu, the wife of Paher-hensu, a tailor from Thebes.
On paleographic grounds, the manuscript is dated to approximately BC. Certain local gods mentioned within the text allow the Liber Linteus's place of production to be narrowed to a small area in the southeast of Tuscany near Lake Trasimeno , where four major Etruscan cities were located: modern day Arezzo , Perugia , Chiusi and Cortona. The book is laid out in twelve columns from right to left, each one representing a "page".
Much of the first three columns are missing, and it is not known where the book begins. Closer to the end of the book the text is almost complete there is a strip missing that runs the entire length of the book. By the end of the last page the cloth is blank and the selvage is intact, showing the definite end of the book. There are lines of text, with legible words. Black ink has been used for the main text, and red ink for lines and diacritics. In use it would have been folded so that one page sat atop another like a codex , rather than being wound along like a scroll.
Julius Caesar is said to have folded scrolls in similar accordion fashion while on campaigns. Though the Etruscan language is not fully understood, certain words can be picked out of the text to give us an indication of the subject matter.
Both dates and the names of gods are found throughout the text, giving the impression that the book is a religious calendar. Such calendars are known from the Roman world, giving not only the dates of ceremonies and processions, but also the rituals and liturgies involved, the lost Etrusca disciplina referred to by several Roman antiquarians.
The theory that this is a religious text is strengthened by recurring words and phrases that are surmised to have liturgical or dedicatory meanings. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Manuscript in Etruscan language.
This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Archaeological Museum in Zagreb. Archived from the original on 20 September Retrieved 7 February Van der Meer's translation is " not significantly different from what can be found in other handbooks.
Most Classical authors respected the Etruscans for their skill in religious ritual and divination, but Etruscan religion can be a minefield for naive scholars, tempting many into flights of fancy. Now, however, many reliable works are available, and classicists and historians may safely venture forth, and with promise of great rewards. The main obstacles for outsiders to Etruscan Studies have been overcome: the Etruscan language is generally knowable, even for those who prefer to read in English see G. Bonfante and L.
Note: We are currently updating this page based upon our recent document findings, "Work notes on the Zagreb Mummy. We have added a map showing Canino , the town near the Fiora river that appears to be the location where the person of the Zagreb Mummy originated. The Zagreb Mummy text is the longest extant Etruscan text. For this reason it is the most important with regard to completion of a translation of the various Etruscan texts.