GEORGIAN TRAVEL GROUP
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Tbilisi, Georgia
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Archeological sites


Georgia is rich at important archeological sites where ongoing excavations are carried out by Georgian and European scientists. The most important excavations of the latest period took place in Dmanisi,  which is very well organized for touristic purposes. Visitor sites of Nokalakevi and Vani are now under construction and will be ready to receive tourists in a few months.


Dmanisi

Nokalakevi


Dmanisi


Dmanisi is located 85 km south-west from Tbilisi. In 1983 while excavating ruins of a medieval town that was located alongside the Silk Road and represented an important trading centre, a team of archaeologists found here the monuments of the Early Paleolithic period. . The excavations of the ruins of the medieval town started in 1936. Later on, in 1983 scientists unearthed the skeletons of the animals from the Early Paleolithic period. In 1984-1991 they discovered stone tools and a rather well preserved lower jaw bone of a prehistoric man, who appeared to be 1,7 million years old. In 1999 archaeologists unearthed skeleton fragments of two more hominids of the same period. The latter discovery has completely changed the history of human evolution. Excavation works on the territory of Dmanisi are still underway.

The significance of Dmanisi stems from the skeleton fragments of prehistoric men who are the oldest hominids discovered on the territory of Eurasia. They manifest many similarities with the hominids who lived in Africa. Apparently they were contemporaries of the Homo Erectus of Africa and the Far East.

Dmanisi is the only place where the scientists have the possibility to study not only the separate individuals, but a society of several generations at once. 





Nokalakevi


Nokalakevi-Tsikhegoji-Arkeopolisi is located in the western Georgia. Its area amounts to 18 hectares. According to specialists, the Georgian town of Aya, where the Argonauts stole the Golden Fleece from, was situated on the site of Nokalakevi.

The oldest layers of the city date back to the 8th-7th centuries BC- period where ceramic statues of various animals found at this site come from. Statues of two-headed animals are specifically noteworthy. Layers of the 6th-4th centuries BC revealed both local and imported clay pottery. Important are the findings of the Hellenistic Period (3rd-1st centuries BC) including  gold, silver, bronze, glass, and glass paste beads, rings, earrings, necklaces, and other items of jewelry too. On the territory of Nokalakevi archaeologists discovered palaces, christian temples, baths, a water reservoir, a tunnel, and other economic buildings or fortifications. A powerful defense system of the town is of particular importance as it has no analogue in the whole Caucasus.

In the 4th century AD Nokalakevi became the capital of Lazeti (Lazika) Kingdom, i.e. of the whole Western Europe. The town was later razed by the Arab commander Marwan Ibn Muhammad, nicknamed in Georgia Murvan Kru (Murvan the Deaf). As a result the town lost its strategic significance. In the 16th-18th centuries Nokalakevi became a residence of the rulers of Samegrelo.

Archaeological museum of Nokalakevi houses the findings of local archaeological discoveries.






Vani


Vani is situated in the western Georgia, on the Imereti flatlands.

In antiquity territory of Vani was a location of one of the major towns of the ancient Colchis, which flourished particularly during the 3rd-1st centuries BC.

Archaeological findings that were discovered on the territory of Vani and are characterized by ceramic fragments are dated to the 8th-6th centuries BC.

In the 6th-4th centuries BC, Vani had cultural, economic and trade relations with Greece, the fact confirmed by found items.

3rd century BC ushered in a new age in the life of the city: its great temple became a central one for the region.  The period produced a fortress wall, an architectural complex of a gate and other cult buildings as well.

The old town was destroyed and seized its existence in the middle of the 1st century BC.

Currently an archaeological museum and a nature reserve of Vani presents the biggest part of the local archaeological findings including the exposition of the items of architecture, goldsmithing, bronze figures and their fragments from  the period covering 8th-1st centuries BC.








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