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Vani (Municipality, Georgia)


Last modified: 2021-09-25 by ivan sache
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Flag and arms of Vani - Images by The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 8 May 2021

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Presentation of Vani

The municipality of Vani is located in Imereti, 260 km west of Tbilisi and 40 km south-west of Kutaisi.

Ivan Sache, 8 May 2021

Flag of Vani

The flag and arms of Vani are prescribed by Decree No. 4 issued on 4 February 2016 by the Municipal Council.
The flag is diagonally divided blue-green from lower hoist to upper fly, charged in upper hoist with a white cross patty pometty inscribed in a white circle and in lower fly by the Golden Fleece. The shield surmounted by a three-towered mural crown argent fimbriated sable. Under the shield a scroll argent fimbriated sable charged with the name of the town in Georgian capital letters sable."
The flag is a simplified banner of the municipal arms, "Per pale, 1. Azure a column surmounted by a cross patty pometty inscribed in a circle all argent, 2. Vert a Golden Fleece or.
[State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia]

The column represents the ancient town of Vani.
Gold coins, chains ans other artifacts were found on the hill overlooking the modern town in the 1840s, as detailed during the Archeological Congress held in Tbilisi in 1881. The first scientific excavations of the site were performed in 1896 by Pr. Ekvtime Taqaishvili. Resumed only in 1947 by the Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, the Vani Archeological Expedition is still ongoing.
The town was continuously settled from the 8th to the mid-1st century BC. In the 8th-7th centuries BC, Vani was mostly a religious center; in the subsequent period (6th-4th centuries BC), Vani emerged as the administrative capital of the Kingdom of Colchis, covering the whole area of the hill. Personal ornaments made of gold, designed in a characteristic, local style, support the claim by ancient authors that Colchis was rich in gold. From the second half of the 4th century BC to the 3rd century BC, Vani was factually independent from the declining Kingdom of Colchis. It soon turned to an exclusive religious, fortified center; a thick defensive walls surrounded a number of connected temples, sanctuaries, altars and sacrificial platforms. Several bronze artifacts, including the torso of a young men, were cast in a local foundry, whose remains have been located on the site.
Destroyed by invaders in the mid-1st century BC, Vani was resettled during the Romans and medieval period, but with little significance.
Scholars do not agree on the identification of the ancient town: Nino Khoshtaria, first head of the Expedition, claims it was Surium / Surion mentioned by Pliny the Elder (Natural History, VI, II, 13) and Ptolemy (Geography, V, 9, 6), while Otar Lordkipanidze (1930-2002), head of the Expedition from 1966 to 2002, relates the site to the Leucothea shrine mentioned by Strabo (Geography, II, 2, 17).
[Otar Lordkipanidze. 1991. Vani: An ancient city of Colchis. Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 32:1, 151-195]

Ivan Sache, 8 May 2021