“Wine, Worship and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani”

Civilizations come and go, empires rise and fall, but mankind’s obsession with shiny yellow gold seems to be everlasting. That obsession is immediately apparent at the exhibition “Wine, Worship and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani,” opening this weekend at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Vani was a major religious and governmental center of the eighth-century B.C. empire of Colchis, in what’s now the Republic of Georgia. Conveniently enough for modern-day archaeologists, the ruling elite of Vani were buried alongside their hoards of riches. A number of such items, including glitzy plates, jewelry and statues infused with both Western and Eastern influences, will be on display. The gold is splendid, to be sure, and you might be surprised at how little our tastes have evolved when it comes to sparkly things. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Through September 1. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org. $6 to $7.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: June 21. Continues through Sept. 1, 2008

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Julia Ramey