Friday, March 14, 2008

Jason and the Argonauts

WINE, WORSHIP AND SACRIFICE: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani

Of course, the story of Jason and the Argonauts has some basis in fact:

...Ancient Greeks did sail across the sea — the Black Sea — to Colchis (modern-day Georgia), a land rich in gold and other precious metals. It seems the Colchians had a technique, involving sheepskins, for extracting gold dust from running water — hence, the Golden Fleece...

You'll learn even more about Colchis if you visit the exhibt at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, at 15 East 84th Street, in Manhattan:

...In two small galleries the exhibition presents more than 100 objects unearthed on the site of Vani, a major Colchian city founded in the eighth century B.C. There is beautiful, intricate gold jewelry that once adorned the bodies of luminaries in their graves, where they were buried with many possessions, including slaves and pets. Wine vessels were commonly found in graves, too, as wine production and consumption were central to the Colchian economy...

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