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Debating Orientalization

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Initially coined by art historians in the second half of the nineteenth century to denote an ambivalent artistic style and period, 'Orientalizing' has been invariably used to describe a phenomenon, a revolution, or a movement. Regional developments and innovations in the ancient Mediterranean have been explained by reference to an Orient, the metaphorical bazaar containing the artistic opulence and social sophistication that spread to the West and changed it. Debating Orientalization brings together papers presented at a symposium held in Oxford in 2002 to debate the theme of ancient Orientalization. The volume reassesses the concept of Orientalizing, questioning whether it is valid to interpret Mediterranean-wide processes of change in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages by the term Orientalization. Like the ancient Mediterranean itself, the list of contributors is multicultural, and their contributions multidisciplinary, combining various strands of archaeological and textual evidence with different methodological and theoretical approaches.

Published: Oct 1, 2006


Section Chapter Authors
Contents Corinna Riva
List of Contributors Corinna Riva
List of Figures Corinna Riva
Dedication Corinna Riva
Introduction Nicholas C. Vella, Corinna Riva
Orientalizing: Five Historical Questions Nicholas Purcell
Approaching Ancient Orientalization via Modern Europe David Wengrow
Orientalization and Prehistoric Cyprus: The Social Life of Oriental Goods A. Bernard Knapp
The View from East Greece: Miletus, Samos and Ephesus Sarah P. Morris
Notes on the Phoenician Component of the Orientalizing Horizon Eric Gubel
On the Organization of the Phoenician Colonial System in Iberia Maria Eugenia Aubet
The Orientalizing Period in Etruria: Sophisticated Communities Corinna Riva
The Orientalizing Phenomenon: Hybridity and Material Culture in the Western Mediterranean Peter van Dommelen
W(h)ither Orientalization Robin Osborne
End Matter
Index Corinna Riva

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In all aspects, this is a very important book; for Classicaland Mediterranean Archaeology in particular it is, in fact, long overdue.
BIBLIOTHECA ORIENTALIS LXVII N° 5-6, september-december 2010

'I highly recommend essays by Purcell, Wengrow, and Osborne, especially for those concerned with issues of cultural transformation and exchange. I also enjoyed the essays of Morris and van Dommelen. Gubel's essay caused me to reflect on how the cultures of Canaan/Israel might have contributed to and been shaped by these processes of Mediterranean interconnectivity and what impact that might have had on the religious world/s that subsequently produced the biblical and para-biblical texts.'
Michael Carden, University of Queensland, The Bible and Critical Theory, Volume 4, Number 2, 2008