Vani Archaeological Site

Vani Archaeological Site

If you’re familiar with the story of Jason and the Argonauts, then a visit to Vani is a must for you. An ancient city of gold whose civilization, the Kingdom of Colchis, lasted from the Iron Age through until the Hellenistic Period, the ruins of this once great city are on the shortlist to join the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Located near the city of Vani in Imereti, the archaeological site stretches across three terraces of the hills here. The oldest archaeological materials found at the site, mostly pottery fragments, date back to the 8th - 6th centuries BCE. The second stage, from the 6th - 4th centuries BCE, is represented by beautiful goldsmithing work - diadems, earrings, tiaras, bracelets, jewelry made of silver, and bronze statues all speak to Vani’s immense political and commercial importance at the time.

Vani is mentioned as a major temple site in documents from the 3rd - 1st centuries BCE, and a cult complex from this period, complete with ritual paraphernalia, was unearthed here. Bronze statues and masks, as well as pottery from Greece were also found at the site.

The ancient city of Vani was invaded in the 1st century BCE when it was invaded by enemies. The Kingdom of Colchis would collapse in the process, leaving behind its rich artifacts to stand as testament to a once powerful empire lost to the ravages of time.

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