The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb is a direct successor of the National Museum, the oldest museum institution in the capital. This first national museum institution started its public and organized—although non-institutional—work in 1846. Since 1866, when the Rules of the National Museum were accepted, it came under the protectorate of the Parliament, and was divided into the Department of Natural History and the Department of Archaeology and History. Since 1940, when the National Museum was formally abolished, the Archaeological Museum has been working independently. Since 1945, the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb has been located in the Vranyczany-Hafner Palace in Zrinski Square.

Today, the Museum’s holdings number over 450,000 different artifacts that were collected from different sources. Among them are some artefacts whose significance goes far beyond the limits of local or regional heritage, such as: 

  • the Eneolithic Dove of Vučedol 
  • the Psephisma of Lumbarda commemorating the creation of a Greek colony on the island of Korčula 
  • the Roman portrait of a Young Girl from Salona (presumably the princess Plautilla) 
  • the first dated inscription of a Slavic ruler — the Branimir inscription from 888 AD.

Even though, generally speaking, most of the monuments are national in origin, from territories that belong to the Croatian historical territory, unlike other similar museums in Croatia, the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb also includes rich collections and monuments from abroad. Along with the Egyptian collection, and a significant portion of the Numismatic collection, the Museum also keeps several significant collections of Greek and Roman origin. The rich collection of painted Greek vases of south Italian and Greek origin, the precious collection of stone monuments of Italian provenance, and the famous Zagreb Mummy and the Linen Book of Zagreb (Liber linteus Zagrabiensis) are particularly noteworthy.

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