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SERVICES_Archeology_Dmanisi-Nakalakevi

Dmanisi-Nakalakevi

Dmainisi - The site of Dmanisi (Eastern Georgia, early and developed medieval century architectural site) is located approximately 85 km South-West 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 which was an important stopping point on the Silk Route - a trading centre between Byzantium and Persia.

Dmanisi was an important city from early medieval time. Dmanisi found itself in the centre of the world attention. The remains of the oldest human beings were discovered. The excavations of the ruins of Dmanisi began in 1936 and were in progress up to1960. Beneath the medieval cellars archeologists found animal bones, this species is typical of Villafranchian faunas, which shows Early Pleistocene age of site. In 1984 first stone tools were also discovered and since this period Georgian scientists have been excavating the Pleistocene deposits at Dmanisi site and in 1991 were joined by German archeologists from Romish-Germanishes Zentral Museum.

Work in Dmanisi has now evolved into an international research project under the auspices of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, with participants of colleagues from Germany, the USA, France and Spain. In 1999 and 2001, fossil hominid skulls and jaws later described as Homo Georgicus were found at Dmanisi.

Nakalakevi (literal meaning in Georgian "ruins where a town was") is one of the most important archeological sites in West Georgia. The fortified administrative centre was a capital of the west Georgian kingdoms of Colchis, and Egrisi-Lazika at various times - the land of the mythical Golden Fleece, Medea and Jason and the Argonauts legend.

The ancient settlement was constructed on the edge of the Colchian plain on a high ridge beside the River Tekhuri. The acropolis atop the escarpment commands fine views south and east across the plain and northwards into the mountains. Walls running down the mountainside connect it to a lower town enclosed by a loop of the river as it exits the mountains via a narrow gorge. On the east side of the town, unprotected by nature, successive rulers built three parallel defensive walls with towers and a strongly fortified gate. Several churches, two bath-houses, two 'palaces' and other standing and buried remains of the 4th to 6th century are set within these fortifications.

Artefactual finds have demonstrated that the site was inhabited in the 2nd millennium BC, but the earliest urban remains discovered thus far date the settlement back to the 8th century BC. The majority of the visible structures were built between the 4th to the 8th centuries AD when Nokalakevi functioned as the capital of Lazika (the medieval successor kingdom to ancient Colchis in western Georgia).

Ceramic statues of various animals (sheep, pigs, horses) (dated VIII-VII centuries B.C), imported pottery, ground and pot-burials of Hellenistic period were found in Nokalakevi. This finds were diverse, such as: beads, rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, which are made of gold, silver, bronze, glass, paste and etc. There are also found the rich ceramic materials. Among them the most important ones are the amphorae.

Day 1: Arrival. Meeting at Tbilisi International Airport. Transfer to hotel.

Day 2: Drive from Tbilisi to Dmanisi-Bolnisi and Kutaisi. Overnight in Kutaisi at a guesthouse.

Day 3: Enjoy Kutaisi sightseeing. Overnight in Kutaisi at a guesthouse.

Day 4: Visit to Vani, enjoy Vani archeological sites. Drive to Zugdidi. Overnight in Khobi at a guesthouse.

Day 5: Visit to Nokalakevi in Senaki. Return to Tbilisi.

Day 6: Departure.

Prices include:

·         Transfer

·         Transportation

·         Meals

·         Accommodations outside Tbilisi (3 nights at guesthouses)

·         Guide

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