Vani is part of the Tentative list of Georgia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Vani is an archeological site revealing an uninterrupted occupation from the 7th century BC (Colchis period), with an Hellenistic Period from the mid 4th century BC before its destruction in the middle of the first century BC. Few walls remains but numerous valuable objects have been found here.

Map of Vani

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Stanislaw Warwas

Poland - 29-May-23 -

Vani (T) by Stanislaw Warwas

Visited in April 2023

Wondering why this site is not on the list yet… It represents many centuries of the history of territories located south of Greater Caucasus, their relations with the northern cultures, Greek civilization and also those from the east and south…

Most of ancient Vani (we do not know how it was called back in the ancient times, although there are some documents that let us assume it was called Surium or/and Leucothea by the Greek) is buried under the modern village and fields to the west of the centre and the main bazaar. And only around 10% of the site has been excavated till now. Local farmers and local authorities do not allow any farther investigations, so probably for the next decades we won’t know anything more about its extent and architectural/economical/social features. It is really a pity… Who knows – maybe after the heavy rains will another part of the uncovered site appear as it did in 1876 after the landslide when the history of Vani as a Colchian culture representative started. And now this is the best known Colchian site inland and the best known in general.

I took a taxi from Kutaisi airport to get to the museum in Vani. It seems that this is the best on site archaeological museum in the country. The entry price is a bit steep by Georgian standards but still it is a must before the visit to the archaeological area around. You can take an audioguide in English or follow the Russian speaking guide. The visit starts with the most important and valuable findings like the famous tamada figurine (photo). (Some artefacts are in exposition in Treasury of National Museum in Tbilisi too.) The museum had two stories and lots of information in English is displayed if you do not want to listen to your audioguide or your guide. It took me around one hour there. And with a leaflet in my hand I went to the archaeological site. (You can go the archaeological excavation without visiting and paying for the museum but you’ll miss all the info necessary to understand what you look at.) It is pretty big with some excavated areas up on the hill and most of them located down towards the village. Do not expect anything spectacular – the value of Vani lies in its history! With a dose of imagination you can see temples, bridges, and houses, roads and stairs – different styles of buildings, and different materials used.

After two hours of wandering around I came back to the museum and asked how many visitors they had as I saw no others that afternoon; the guide told me that usually school groups during the spring and autumn, but very few individual tourists… And indeed – she said – I was the only one in one week… But this is the start of the season, she added. Even the small cafeteria was not open yet…

I went to the village and caught a marshrutka to Kutaisi.

Full Name
Archaeological site - Classical (other)
2007 Added to Tentative List

Unesco Website: Vani

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Vani (T)


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