Orientalism and orientalization in the iron age mediterranean

Ann C Gunter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Over a century ago, scholars recognized a pre-Classical era in which Greek art came under the stimulus of Egypt and the Near East to a degree that invited the label “Orientalizing.” Recent archaeological discoveries have pushed back the inception of Iron Age communication between mainland Greece, Crete, and the Levant to the ninth and tenth centuries BCE, and emphasis has now shifted to the conspicuous role played by Phoenicians and their extensive Mediterranean trade networks in these contacts and interactions. The “Orientalizing” phase of Etruscan Italy, generally dated from the late eighth to early sixth centuries BCE and likewise first defined in the nineteenth century CE, acknowledges a comparably intense period of cross-cultural interaction, in which Phoenicians were key participants. For Classical Greece of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, new studies have reassessed the reception of “Persian luxuries” and documented in the realm of material and visual culture a complex, ambivalent relationship between Greece and the Achaemenid Empire. What kinds of artistic transmission and exchange took place across this geocultural space, and what do scholars today mean by the terms “Orientalizing” and “Orientalization”? How has the postcolonial concept of Orientalism elaborated by Edward Said and other scholars shaped approaches to analyzing relationships between the Near East and its Mediterranean neighbors in this period of antiquity? These issues concern the dissemination and reception of ancient Near Eastern art beyond its southwest Asian borders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCritical Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Art
PublisherWalter de Gruyter GmbH
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781614510352
ISBN (Print)9781614510291
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Artistic interaction
  • Orientalizing art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Orientalism and orientalization in the iron age mediterranean'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Gunter, A. C. (2014). Orientalism and orientalization in the iron age mediterranean. In Critical Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Art (pp. 79-108). Walter de Gruyter GmbH.