Georgia is a land where agriculture, viticulture, livestock breeding, and highly developed handicrafts have coexisted from a very early date. Geor-gian arts flourished in the Middle Ages, but the formation of a Georgian national culture and art must have gone back to far earlier times, for the medieval stage of their development was very high. We know this from the beautiful stone cathedrals and churches with carved decorations and frescoes, the excellent local chased work in high relief, the fine cloisonne enamelling comparable to that of Byzantine workmanship, and the splendid jewelry and weaving.
For all their common stylistic bases, Georgian folk arts demonstrate a considerable regional variety. Thus, traditional crafts in the mountainous regions of Svanetia and Khevsuretia differ from those practiced on the plain's of Kakhetia or in the coastal areas of Abkhazia.
In Georgia, as in many other republics, pottery is an exceptionally old art. In some parts of Georgia it was known as far back as the Neolithic Age, spreading later throughout the country.
Excavations at Trialeti have yielded pottery with slip-painted and molded decorations from the middle of the second millennium B.C. Elegant proportions characterize Georgian terracotta vessels made in the early centuries A.D. In medieval times, ceramic wares became more diversified and glazed or painted decorations more popular.