International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Journal Impact Factor 0.2
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'Škarić K, Rajić Šikanjić P, Premužić Z, 2017: Medieval mummies from the Parish treasury in Vodnjan, Croatia. Anthropologie (Brno) 55, 3: 277-283'.
In this paper we have examined two medieval mummies located in the sanctuary of the parish church of St. Blaise in Vodnjan, Istria, Croatia. The analysed mummified bodies belong to Saint Giovanni Olini (1215–1300) and Saint Nicolosa Borsa (1447–1512). They were brought from Venice in 1818 by the painter, restorer and art collector Gaetano Grezler. The bodies were dressed and kept in their sarcophagi along with their equipment and holy inscriptions. The goal of this investigation was to obtain information on the physical condition of the bodies and the possible traces of human interventions that could have had an impact both on the process of mummification and on the present state of preservation. Independent chemical examinations on skin samples showed that it was coated with a mix containing olive oil and saccharide-based resin. Similarities in the appearance and composition of the skin on the two bodies indicate that the coating was applied after the bodies had entered the same collection in the first half of 19th century. It is quite probable that this intervention was done by Gaetano Grezler. Detail visual examination showed that parts of bodies relating to sexuality were missing. This could be explained as the result of a medieval post-mortem ritual or removal of these parts as relics at a later time.
Vodnjan ‒ Medieval mummies ‒ St. Giovanni Olini ‒ St. Nicolosa Borsa ‒ Anthropological analysis

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