Georgia Archaeology

By | June 3, 2022


From the Dmanisi site come finds of extraordinary importance for paleoanthropological studies: there were in fact found fossil remains, dating back to 1.8 million years ago, of a hominid characterized by lower limbs of a modern type and by encephalization quotient, body aspect and many morphologies of the more archaic species of Homo erectus.

According to computerdo, Georgia is very important archaeologically because, due to the abundant mines, the civilization of metals was widespread here starting from the second half of the 3rd millennium BC Art objects made in the 2nd millennium BC came to light in the course of several excavations. Noteworthy are the bronze axes and, later, the iron ornaments, of which the Greeks believed the Calibis, residents of Colchis, to be the inventors. Excavations have provided traces of Greek settlements near Suhumi (Dioscuriade), of Očiamčira (Gyenos) and, moreover, of the ancient Fasi, near the mouth of the homonymous river (or port of Poti); Walls near the od. It’s evening. Very interesting is the site of Vani, where the most consistent examples of architectural structures were discovered (walls with semicircular and polygonal towers, two sacred areas, a circular temple, an altar) dating from the 3rd to the 1st century. B.C; moreover, from Vani comes a large number of very elegant gold and silver objects dating back to the 5th century. BC, strongly influenced by Greek, Achaemenid and oriental prototypes. The excavation of some burial grounds has shown how local customs coexist with Greek influence. Local iron processing is important. It is thought that in the series of ceramic basins found along the coast the waters of rivers or the sea were retained to extract iron from the deposit of their sands; the fusion then took place in the mountain areas. There are agricultural tools (axes, hoes, plowshares) and weapons (spade tips, javelins, arrows, axes). Also important is the local production of amphorae (a single type with three subclasses) dating from the 4th century. BC to 2nd AD The excavations of the residences of the nobility, that is administrative centers, reveal a social polarization and ownership of the local society, which manifests itself in the funeral rites: on the one hand simple pits with a very scarce set of ornaments and vases of terracotta, on the other hand burials in large wooden sarcophagi, accompanied by servants and horses, a large quantity of silverware and goldsmithing.


Between 5th and 7th sec. the religious architecture shows variants of the basilica type (Bolnisi, basilica of Sion, 5th century, with three naves, projecting apse; Zigani, basilica, 7th century, with three rooms) and of the type with a central plan with a dome set on trumpets: from the cathedral of Ninozminda (late 6th century, four apses connected by quadrangular double apsed niches), to the sanctuary of the Cross (Djvari) of Mzcheta which has tripartite facades on the outside, to the church of Zromi with a dome supported by four free pillars. The construction technique reaches a high level with careful chromatic choice of materials. After the Arab domination, architecture continues its line of development in buildings with a central plan with important innovations (domes set on plumes), elongated western arm, accentuated verticality, interior spaces unified by pictorial decoration, rich sculptural decoration on the outside: Alaverni cathedral (11th-15th century), St. Nicholas, Kintsvisi monastery (13th century), Transfiguration church, Zarzma monastery (14th century) etc. There are important testimonies in the field of miniature, as well as in that of enamels and goldsmithing, from the millenary tradition (triptych of Khakhuli, 8th-12th century; tondo from Gelati, 11th century, Tbilisi, Georgian Art Museum).

At the beginning of the 19th century, incorporated into the Russian Empire, Georgia opens up to European influence with architecture touched first by neoclassicism and then by eclecticism. In the Soviet period a constructivist vein was identified, but after 1940 an uncritical use of classicism prevailed. Since the 1970s there have been reinterpretations of avant-garde architecture (in Tbilisi: Philharmonic, 1971; Ministry of the streets, 1975; Palazzo dei Matrimoni, 1985; etc.). Realism and patriotic subjects characterize the official works in the Soviet period: M. Berdzeniǧvili and E. Amaǧukeli, authors of monumental sculptures;Z. Tsereteli, sculptor, mosaicist and author of enamels. Landscape painting, portraiture and, above all, book illustration and scenography, expressions of the best artistic production in Georgia since the beginning of the 20th century. (D. Ǧevardnadze; V. Sidamon-Eristavi; D. Kakabadze; K. Magalaǧvili;LD Gudiaǧvili), continue to have a leading role with R. Tarkhan-Mouravi, author of graphic series on traditional songs and games; A. Bandzeladze, portrait painter and illustrator; Z. Nižaradze, author of portraits and genre scenes; K. Ignatov, author of great compositions and sets. The opening to new means of expression is manifested above all from the 1990s: Georgia Alexi-Meskhiǧvili, M. Japaridze.

Georgia Country Archaeology