Annette Rathje (University of Copenhagen), “Consumption of luxury items and the life-style of the elites”
Abstract: The paper will compare, how ideas of power, rank and status were communicated in Etruria and Anatolia in the protohistoric Orientalizing period by the use of material items and images. By employing and exhibiting specific objects, the elites used a nonverbal language to communicate with each other across frontiers in the Mediterranean area as well as to show their wealth and their sophistication to their own surroundings. Trade networks have been discovered, analysed and exhibited on various occasions in the last decade. However, we now have to deal with the significance of the selection, collection and use of certain luxury items to the ostentation of accumulated wealth - that are better known from the courtly societies of the Near and Middle East. The desire of possessing these items can be perceived in personal or private as well as social terms. As many of the items belong to the sphere of banqueting, it is mandatory to link the two worlds in question vis-à-vis this praxis of consumption and social events.