Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 - 40124 Bologna

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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan Collection: the Orientalizing phase


In the VII century BC the culture of the peoples which overlooked on the Mediterranean basin is deeply influenced by artistic and cultural elements coming from the Near East. This phenomenon, to which also widely Etruria participates, is called "Orientalizing Phase".
The principles, heads of the great aristocratic families, were the first to imitate, with their lifestyle and with objects which furnished and adorned their homes and their tombs, the sovereigns of the largest and most powerful eastern kingdoms.
Also Bologna participates to this cultural moment: during the VII century BC it looks like a great proto-urban center, seat of an emerging aristocracy that expresses its supremacy through the possession of a particular prestige objects.
The materials of this phase reveal oriental influences that, through the Tyrrhenian Etruria, comes up to the Po Valley. There is in fact the emergence of new artistic languages, such as the monumental sculpture and the figurative narration on embossed bronzes. These phenomena are attributed to the arrival of foreign artisans attracted by the wealth of local aristocratic families, whose work contributed to change the local figurative language, before exclusively geometric, with the inclusion of motifs of the orientalising repertoire (sphinxes, tree of life, palms, monkeys, lions, griffins ...). These elements can be found from this moment in many craft areas: bronzes, ceramics, bone.

Exhibition rooms | Room X - Etruscan Bologna