Vani, first half of the 4th century BC, Grave 6, GNM: 11-974:1 and 11-974:3

This remarkable gold diadem from Grave 6 is comprised of a twisted rod terminating in two rhomboid plaques that would have been worn on the front of the principal deceased’s head and fastened by a central hook. Hanging from chains on both sides of the diadem are circular temple ornaments of the so-called radial type that would have fallen on the deceased’s temples or sides of the forehead.

Diadems and temple ornaments of these distinctive types are Colchian innovations and clearly reflect regional stylistic and compositional preferences. Yet influences from eastern iconographic motifs are present on this particular diadem. The rhomboid plaques feature two tiers of intricate repoussé decoration — the repeating motif shows a wild boar at the center attacked by two lions. This is ultimately a Near Eastern design that makes appearances in Greek art as well. The diadem, therefore, shows an intermingling of indigenous forms with Persian motifs. Such combinations of local types with foreign motifs are found in many of the other gold objects on display in this exhibition.