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  • Tags: Archaeological Excavation

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Dzalisa Excavations

See the entry on Dzalisa for the history of the site and the excavated part of the Roman settlement.

Currently excavations are continuing each summer on the edge of the village burial ground where a significant late antique tomb was uncovered in 1988. In the last year a large mud brick complex - believed to be a temple - has been discovered and research by the National Museum of Georgia is ongoing in this sector of the site.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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The archaeological remains at Dzalisa date to the C2nd CE and there is evidence that occupation continued into the middle ages with current research suggesting that the settlement was abandoned c. C8th CE. Whilst ancient writers did mention a Roman town this far east in Iberia, Dzalisa is the most significant Roman site found east of the Surami range of mountains and the site is probably the Zalissa mentioned by the writer Ptolemy (c.100- c.170 AD).

Today the archaeological remains cover a large area around the modern village of Dzalisa with excavations continuing every summer. It is estimated that the town covered 70 hectares in all and the reserve contains several excavated buildings, including a public bath, a swimming pool, a building with under-floor heating and part of a villa with mosaic flooring and what was probably a private bathing suite. The mosaics are only one of four examples of floor mosaic found on Georgian territory and the only one found east of the Surami mountain range.

Type: Archaeological Site
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Trench 3, end of excavation shots

These images were taken on the final day of the excavation season.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Test pit looking for sterile soil in trench 3

This test trench was dug at the westernmost end of trench 3 to confirm that there was no earlier occupation level under the Byzantine era dwelling.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, fourth extension

This was the final extension to the trench and details such as thresholds, doorposts and a tannour (clay oven) were revealed.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, third extension

This was the third extension to trench 3.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, second extension

These pictures are taken some days after the last images and show the second extension to the trench, by which point it was clear that the trench was uncovering a street of terraced one room dwellings.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, first extension

The trench overseen by the DGAM expanded rapidly and this is the first of a series of extensions that were added to the trench as it was extended to reveal a row of simple houses.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, Context 1

These pictures are of the northernmost trench opened and overseen by Yaarob Abdallah of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM). The photographs record the first phase of his work.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Chabukauri is located to the west of Nekresi monastery and lies in the modern territory of that foundation. As at Dolochopi, the large three-church basilica found on the site was once the centre of a substantial settlement that has since been overtaken by forest, although in this case the growth is not as dense as it is in Dolochopi. Also as at Dolochopi, there are various phases to the building. In this case the large church is believed to date to the fourth to fifth centuries and, after the main church was damaged in an earthquake, part of the north-eastern sector of the building was adapted to become the south aisle of a new, smaller building. This smaller church was constructed with two distinctive horseshoe-shaped apses, the larger of which had a synthronon - as at the main church in nearby Dolochopi. Also as at Dolochopi there are medieval kist burials scattered across the site. Finally to the north west of the main church there is a small apses structure, believed to date to the fourth century, that boasts a high quality terracotta tiled floor, suggesting that this too could have been an early church. The main building was roofed by timber beams and terracotta tiles held in place with nails and ante fixes as at Dolochopi and here there was evidence that the walls of the structure were once plastered and painted red.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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