Ancient Colchis, which was located on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, is best known from Greek mythology as the land where Jason and the Argonauts went in search of the Golden Fleece and Jason fell in love with Medea, who helped the hero complete his legendary feat. Archaeological finds prove that Colchis was indeed rich in gold. But what defined Colchian identity beyond its wealth in this precious metal? Wine, Worship, and Sacrifice explores this question by providing an overview of life at Vani, an important administrative and religious center in Colchis. This richly illustrated catalogue, which accompanies a major inaugural exhibition at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, is the first comprehensive English-language publication about Vani.
Wine, Worship, and Sacrifice presents findings from five of Vani's richest graves, which include an impressive array of gold jewelry as well as imports from its western and eastern neighbors. These graves also give evidence of human sacrifice and of the important role that wine, drinking, and libation played in Colchian life. Darejan Kacharava and Guram Kvirkvelia provide a historical and archaeological overview of the city, while the other contributors explore such topics such as the rich tradition of Colchian gold working and the Greek view of Colchis through the myth of Medea.
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