Document Type : Original Research


1 George Tsereteli Institute of Oriental Studies, Ilia State University

2 Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia


In addition to the many realms of fine arts, the issues of Georgian-Iranian cultural interactions of pre-Islamic periods that merit our particular interest were adequately expressed in such a minor form of arts as glyptic, beginning from the Achaemenian days up to the Sasanian period. Glyptic artifacts, which demonstrate part of Iranian culture, were discovered during various archaeological excavations in Georgia. While some of these items were imported, others were produced locally under the influence of Iran. The discovery of metal shield rings in Georgia, particularly in the eastern region that was once part of ancient Iberia, has posed a significant challenge for historians. These artifacts are believed to be locally produced and some may reflect artistic patterns associated with the Achaemenid kingdom. The majority of the Sasanian artifacts discovered in Georgia are excellent seals. They began to arrive in East Georgia mainly from the 4th century AD. Due to the beginning of intensive trade with Sasanian Iran and the gradual strengthening of Iran's political positions in the South Caucasus, which was followed by the dissolution of the Kartli kingdom in 532, the widespread use of Sasanian seals started in the second half of the 5th century and continued during the 6th and 7th centuries. Nearly all of the common themes and subjects found in Sasanian glyptics can be observed in the glyptic artifacts in Georgia. These include depictions of nobility, deities, animal-versus-hero fights, fantastical creatures, humans, birds, and plants, as well as monograms. While some of these artifacts were imported, others were crafted under the influence of Sasanian art and became distinguished examples of local productions.