Archaeopolis – Nokalakevi (the first capital of old Colchis )

Nokalakevi was a unique Political and historical center of Western Georgia between the 4-6 th cc AD. According to scholars this archaeological site is considered as one of the most important and powerful city among the countries of South Caucasus of that period.

The site was explored and excavated in 1930ies by German archaeologist Alfonce Snider, under initiating of Professor Javakhishvili. Since 1973 Georgian archeologists from the State museum of Georgia has continued the field works and research. From July, 2001 have been going the training expeditions together with the volunteers and students from Cambridge , Oxford and London Universities . Archaeologists Has been found the archaeological remains of old settlements from the first millennium and was activated as a city from 4 th c. BC.

 

Tsikheagora Architectural complex

Multilayered site of Tsikheagora has revealed a large Architectural complex comp belonging to the Hellenistic period. Archaeologists have found the twelve meters high hill with area of 0.5 hectares. The thickness of the cultural layer exceeds six m. The site has been under excavation since 1971 by archaeological expedition of State Archaeological center of searches. The most comprehensive was studied upper layer belonging to the Hellenistic period, revealed a large temple complex.
 

Vani the Temple City

The name Vani in old Georgian language meant house or apartment. This term occurs in old Georgian sources dating as far back as the 5 th – 6 th c. AD. In southwestern and western Georgia several monastic sites bear the name “Vani”. However Vani as the name of this site does not appear in ancient or medieval sources. The 18 th c. geographer and historian Bagrationi Vakhushti called the entire region “Sachino” (important, outstanding place in Georgian language). As a medieval village Vani was formed in the 1770 c.

Vani was a famous city of Colchis Kingdom (western Part of Georgia), well known as a rich strategic city throughout the Mediterranean Area and the Black Sea cast towns. The first Archaeological excavations were made by professor Takaishvili in 1896. In his first published report about Vani treasures and its environs, he dated the site to Greco-Roman period. Since that time the ancient city has been permanently excavated and studied by The Academy of science and Archaeological centre of researches. Archaeological materials from the excavations are preserved at the State Museum of Georgia in Tbilisi and at Vani Archaeological Museum established in 1985.

 

Dmanisi

The entire distance from Tbilisi to Dmanisi Archaeological Site is 92 km.

The site of Dmanisi ( Eastern Georgia ) is located southwest of Tbilisi in the Mashavera River Valley which drains the Javakheti volcanic chain to the west of the site. It is located on the territory of the medieval town of Dmanisi and is situated on the promontory formed by the confluence of the Mashavera and the Phinezauri Rivers .

Dmanisi was an important city from early medieval time. It was here that the caravan routes to Byzantium , Armenia and Persia converges. The excavations of the ruins of Dmanisi were begun in 1936 and continue into the 1960s. Beneath the medieval cellars archeologists found animal bones, among them the teeth of rhino Dicerorhinus etruscus etruscus, in 1983. This species is typical of Villafranchian faunas, which shows Early Pleistocene age of site.

In 1984 first stone tools also were discovered. Since that year Georgian scientists have been excavating the Pleistocene deposits at Dmanisi site and in 1991 were joined by German archeologists from Romish-Germanishes Central Museum . Work in Dmanisi has now evolved into an international research project under the auspices of Georgian Academy of Sciences, with participants of colleagues from Germany , USA , France and Spain .

At present more than twenty hominid remains are recovered in Dmanisi. This includes three mandibles, three hominid skulls and several post cranial parts. The Dmanisi hominid remains are the first hominids discovered outside of Africa to show clear affinities to African H. ergaster rather than to more typical Asian H. erectus or to any European hominid. The hominid site itself was likely located near a lake or a pond, rich in lacustrine resources. This biome, together with the adjacent forest-steppe formations, created a highly productive ecotone rich in animal and plant resources. The nearby river gravels provided hominids with extensive lithic resources (pebbles and cobbles) used for tool production.

All remains, which were discovered in Dmanisi, are kept at Janashia Museum in Tbilisi .

 

Dzalisi – the second Capital of Kartli Kingdom

Dzalisi represents the architectural complex, a residential city of the second King of Kartli Kingdom (from fifties of 1 st c. up to 5 th c. AD). The site maintain the four palaces and hypo caustic bathes, swimming pool, administrative part, barracks for the solders and water supply system; Acropolis and burial grounds.

Bathes are famous with its mosaics and scenes have been influenced by the Dionysus cult.

 

Armaziskhevi

The residence and burial sites of the Pitiakhshes of the Iberian kings is situated on the right bank of the Mtkvari, near the estuary of the Armazistskali, two miles west of Mtskheta.

Archeological excavations which took place at Armaziskhavi between 1937-46 revealed the remains of the 2 nd –3 rd cc Palace, an enfilade bath rich 2 nd-4 th cc burials of Pitiakhshes and cist-burials dating from 6-9 th cc. In the same place two send stone stelae via unearthed with lepidari text, one of them the so-called Armazi bilingual, dating from the second half of the 2 nd c AD. Being the epitaph of the Zevakh Pitiakhsh daughter -Sarapite. The text of the bilingual are inscribed of in both Greek and so-called Armazi writing. A type of Aramaic script, wide spread in old Georgia . The text on the other stelae is inscribed in Armazi characters and dates from the 1 st c AD. It tells of successful campaign by Georgians led by king Mithridates Pitiakhsh Sharagas, into Armenia . Both stelae, as well as the rich inventory of the burials of the Pitiakhsh, gold and silver jewelry adorned with precious stones necklaces diadems airings bracelets, rings, glass and silver vessels, plates and dishes are kept at the Jnashia State museum in Georgia.

There is an open air museum in Armaziskhevi, where visitors can see the bath of the Pitiakhshes in which the cold and the hot sections were heated by means of hypocaust system. Part of the Palace of the Pitiakhshes and their tombs, sarcophaguses and cists. Variouse steale and steale fragments with the old Georgian ornaments and tomb stones with arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Armenian inscriptions are displayed along the wall of the museum.

 

Sarkine

Sarkine is mentioned in old Georgian chronicles (the conversion of Kartli and the life of Kartli) among the other Georgian towns it was situated 8km west of Mtskheta, on the left bank of Mtkvari where after the Shi-Mgvime Dzegvi follow the river flows through a gorge.

Here en adobe tower was excavated on the westernmost slopes of the Savanati mountain range between 1946-48. At the bottom of the hill an iron town gate was uncovered, while remnants of the adobe and timber buildings and the fragment of adobe town walls were unearthed on the terraced slopes of the hill.

West of Sarkine mountain on the terrace along the side of river, a settlement surrounded with an adobe wall,the so-called Grdezeli Mindori was excavated between 1954 –67. The settliment was apparantly part of the town of Sarkine . Here within the town wall a large building was discovered, housing workshops, which included iron smelting, blacksmith and goldsmith shops; hewn limestone blocks and ornamented architectural details were also uncoverred.

The archeological finds excavated at the site of Sarkine-date from the 3 rd c BC to the 2 nd c AD. Of this, the two terra-cotta figures of Dionisus and Ariadne and the terra-cotta masks of their retinue, an iron tripod candlestick, stone, ceramic and glass vessels and lonic capital, discovered at the long field are on display at the Janashia Satate museum of Georgia .

Tchiatura - West Georgia , Imereti region, Ortvala klde cave, Jruchula cave. These are karst rock shelters with two chambers opening to the east. It contains 9 archaeological layers; two of them were assigned to the Upper Paleolithic and seven - to the Middle Paleolithic. These horizons are rich in both lithic and faunal remains; human remains were discovered in the 5th middle Paleolithic horizon.

Sachkhere - West Georgia , Imereti region, Dzudzuana.River Kvirila's basin. The Cave is large, entrance 22m, height - 15 m. The day light goes through 60m. Contains Encelithic - Early Bronze and upper Paleolithic culture layers, upper Paleolithic is very rich in archaeological and faunal materials. Dated II. P. II2 - 11.850 B.C.; II5 - 14000 B.C.

 

Tkibuli - West Georgia , Imereti region, Tsutskhvati multi-stage complex caves (early Bronze Age).

Dsalka Trialeti - South Georgia , (Ciclophic settlements, Bronze Age cemetery) village Beshtasheni.

Mtskheta - East Georgia. Archaeological expedition (base in Mtskheta with materials of Bronze and ancient period).

Dusheti - East Georgia. Jhinvali archaeological expedition, base in village Milakhvriantkari, with materials from Aragvi gorge archaeological expeditions (from the Bronze Age to Greece and Romanian period).

Kareli - East Georgia. Shida-Kartli region, Dedoplis Gora, Dedoplis Mindori (early bronze ages).

Borjomi gorge - South Georgia . Base in village Chitachevi, Borjomi Museum .

Sighnaghi - East Georgia. Kakhetiarchaeological expedition, base in Sighnaghi, Historical-archeological Museum with materials from Kakheti, beginning from Kuro-Araksian culture (early and late Bronze Ages).

David Gareji - East Georgia, Kakheti region, 5000000 years old bone materials, early Bronze Age.

Batumi - West Georgia . Ajara region. Batumi Historical Museum , Gonio and Pichvnari (pinery) cemetery (materials of early Bronze Age , Greece and Romanian period).