G.R.A.P.E.: Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Excavations - Republic of Georgia

Shulaveris Gora

Gadachrili Gora

Imeris Gora

Marneuli

Imeris

Gadachrili Gora is a Neolithic village located near the city of Marneuli in the Kvemo Kartli region of the Republic of Georgia. The excavations are undertaken by the Georgian National Museum, under the directorship of Mindia Jalabadze.

 

Gadachrili Gora forms part of a trio of Neolithic villages, dated to the 6th millennium of the Shulaveris-Shomu Culture, which can be found across central Transcaucasia, and represents one of the earliest known Neolithic cultures of the region. These simple villages produced circular mudbrick architecture, handmade pottery with plastic decoration and a complex lithic industry. They revealed evidence of a wide subsistence base; raising cattle and pigs, growing wheat, barley, and have produced the earliest evidence for the domestication of grapes. Chemical analysis of the ceramic vessels showed that these grapes were used for the production of the earliest wines so far discovered.

 

The excavations are sponsored by the Georgian Wine Association and National Wine Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture under the umbrella of a larger international project entitled “Research and Popularization of Georgian Grape and Wine Culture” which aims to investigate the roots of wine production in the ancient world.

 

Dr. Stephen Batiuk was asked to participate in the project in 2014, and he joined the excavations in the spring of 2015 with the aim of helping expand the excavations and bring new technical and methodological approaches to the investigations. He will be accompanied by Andrew Graham in providing University of Toronto students the opportunity to participate in these investigations through the ongoing excavations at the site in the spring of 2016.

 

webpage: www.grape.utoronto.ca

The Archaeology Centre, 19 Russell St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S2.    email:  archaeology@utoronto.ca