About the Golden Graves of Ancient Vani
The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani presents an array of precious objects from the ancient kingdom of Colchis, in what is today the Republic of Georgia. The excavation of a series of rich burials and other discoveries at the city of Vani have revealed a highly developed culture that had its own religious and artistic practices, yet also embraced and adapted influences from neighboring peoples.

Highlights of the exhibition include spectacular assemblages of jewelry that display the talent and skill of local goldworkers, groups of imports from the Greek world and the Persian Empire, a series of enigmatic ritual figurines, and a life-size bronze torso. In addition, four bronze lamps that were discovered in 2007 are being displayed together in the exhibition for the first time. Two have been conserved by the Getty in collaboration with the Georgian National Museum.

Vani's Golden Graves

Known in myth as the destination of Jason and the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece, the kingdom of Colchis was renowned as a region rich in gold. Excavations at the inland site of Vani have confirmed this reputation. Since the 1930s, archaeologists have uncovered 28 burials dating to about 450–250 B.C. The bodies of the elite were typically adorned with a resplendent array of gold jewelry. Evidence from the site indicates that much of this jewelry was locally made.

The graves were usually covered with pebble mounds, and iron nails found in some of the burials suggest that wooden constructions were set inside. The deceased were sometimes accompanied by a number of servants and animals (such as horses and dogs), presumably sacrificed as companions for the afterlife. A variety of vessels and other grave goods were also deposited with the dead, many of which provide evidence for banqueting in the local funerary rituals.

Visitor Information:
The Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

Where to Find Us
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, California 90272
(310) 440-7300

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Please note that access to the Getty Villa entrance is only from the northbound right-hand lane of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).

What to See
Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities arranged by themes including Gods and Goddesses, Dionysos and the Theater, and Stories of the Trojan War

Roman-inspired architecture and gardens