Two Men and a Sheep

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Pagan festivals are held annually that have Christian overtones.  Some of the elders clothes date back to pagan times. There are no priests or working churches in any of the valleys. Every village has an elder with priest-like powers. Each village has its own Khati--a couple of huts associated with their own Pagan deity.  No foreigners have penetrated this area... no Mongols, Arabs, Turks or Persians, unlike the rest of Georgia.....These "tribal worlds" in the mountainous, coastal areas--south of the Caucasus's in Georgia--have changed little in the past 3300 years. Simple, physical geography has preserved thess unique societies.....The area is called Svaneti.  Here people put sheepskins in glacial runoff to gather gold dust... thus the Golden Fleece.  The people still speak Kartvelian, a proto language that hasn't changed for over 5000 years.....Svans live in 12th century medieval towers and still perform pagan animal sacrifice on 8th century stone alters, another part of life that Jason and the Argonauts saw when they arrived around the fifth century BC.....Civilization likely began in the Caucasus even before it did in Mesopotamia.  Mountainous terrain preserves miniature tribal worlds lost to time...
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