Etruscan civilisation arose out of contact with the Greeks. The Greeks established colonies (settlements) in southern Italy from the late 9th century to the 6th century BC. Because it was a more advanced civilisation, the Greeks had a big impact on all the Italic peoples it came into contact with.

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The settlers of the first Greek settlement (on the island of Ischia, near Naples) were looking for metals. Etruria had rich mines. This started extensive traders between the Greeks and the Etruscans which created prosperity in Etruria and gave rise to the Etruscan civilisation. The Greeks sold pottery and other manufactures. The Etruscans adopted and adapted Greek artistic themes and styles. This has been called the Orientalising Period. Its name is derived from the fact that Greek art in this period, in its turn, was influenced by the art of the Orient through contacts with the Middle East. It adopted themes and styles from the Assyrians and the Egyptians. Etruscans art also used orientalised art., particularly that styles from Corinth and Attica (the area around Athens). The also (like all other italic peoples later) adopted and adapted the western Greek alphabet to develop their own written language.

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