Ancient Vani (Region of Imereti)
Vani (Georg. ვანი) – the most important town of Antique era Colchis. The town was composed of many settlements available around. In the history of Antique Vani two periods can be sorted out: VI-IV centuries and III-I centuries BC. On the first stage Vani was the center of administrative entity of the Colchis Kingdom (Skeptukhia) and residence of governing elite. Wooden cult and domestic fixtures, diverse ceramics (black-polished, black and red figurines, clay and metal utensils) and rich burial sites (diadems, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, pendants, heraldic images and cups) which prove close trade, economic and cultural ties with the Greek world, belong to this epoch.
In the second stage Vani became a big temple center. Archeological excavations discovered fence walls, round temple, buttress construction, seven-step alter, figurines for cult and ritual worship, local and Greek ceramic artefacts. In I century BC the Antique town ceased to exist.
The most well-known archeological find in Vani is a collection of 100 gold ornaments dating back to the 5th-3rd centuries BC. Analysis of the gold showed that it was excavated in the Caucasian rivers. The ornaments were made by local masters. Traditional depictions of birds and animals were used in the decorations.
A collection of Colchian gold is exhibited in the Georgian National Museum.