The term traditionally applied to a distribution of orientally inspired material culture and to the chronological phase in which this distribution occurred (broadly, the eighth and seventh centuries BC). By extension, the term applies to a period of gift exchange, wealth accumulation, and conspicuous consumption of that wealth, most particularly in graves (e.g., at Vetulonia and Caere), but also in residential complexes such as those of Acquarossa, Casale Marittimo, and Murlo. As a complex of material culture, Orientalizing is a hybrid package of elements, including literacy, personal adornment (jewelry, cosmetics, and perfumes), precious metals, local and exotic metal/ceramic forms, and distinctive motifs (fantastic animals, palmettes, the paradise flower, etc.) drawing extensively on Phoenician trading networks and embedded in ritual practices of drinking and feasting (the material culture of which included vessels, spits, firedogs, axes, and knives).
   Symbols of authority also developed at this time, including the double axe, folding stools, sun shades, fans, the chariot, and the scepter. Some have even included the monumental tumulus as part of this package, but this can be interpreted as a much more widespread monumentalization technique with the common aim of impressing those without access to the tomb beneath. This is the phase when descent groups were founded, which celebrated their founders with a monumental tomb, organized around the house/tomb and elaborated and maintained through time. Chronologically, the period is divided into early Orientalizing (720 to 680 BC), middle Orientalizing (680 to 630 BC), and recent Orientalizing (630 to 580 BC), although this has some geographical variation, since the phenomenon is ultimately social rather than strictly chronological.

Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. .

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