Mutso, like Shatili, has a perfectly preserved complex of medieval tower dwellings. Unlike Shatili the village is not UNESCO listed and so there is more freedom open to the restorers who at the time of this visit were conserving the village. Mutso marks the end of the road - beyond this point there are only trails to other settlements and to the Atsunta Pass into Tusheti. The ancient village is located on a pinnacle of rock overlooking a bend in the river below and the climb to the settlement passes several tomb vaults (akeldama) of the same type found at Anatori on the Shatili-Mutso road.
Martqopi is monastery in the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia to the north east of Tbilisi. As with several other ancient monasteries, the village named Martqopi is now some kilometres distant from the monastery of that name as the monastery and accompanying settlement have divided over time and the monastery is known as Gvtaeba. The site is named for St. Anton Martqopeli, believed to have been one of the Thirteen (As)Syrian Fathers and who is believed to have brought the Holy Tile of Edessa (the Keramidion) to Georgia. Although the Keramidion is believed to be a miraculous imprint made on a tile by the Mandylion, the miraculous cloth that Christ left an imprint of his face on and therefore a secondary icon after the Mandylion, in Georgia this story has become confused and St. Anton is now often said to have brought the Mandylion itself to Georgia. The saint is often referred to as a 'Stylite' as he repudedly lived alone in a tower above the main monastery for some years. This building is now closed to visitors but is referred to interchageably as a 'koshki' (tower) or 'sveti' (pillar or column). As at Ubisa this dwelling resembles a tower house rather than the Syrian-style column found at Qal'at Seman and Semandağ. There is also a modern tomb at this site reorted to be that of St. Anton, replicating the situation across a number of sites associated with the Thirteen (As)Syrian Fathers where relatively recent shrines have been constructed.
Kvavlo is the name given to the cluster of towers that sits on a rock outcrop over 300 metres above Dartlo. The towers are currently being restored and some of the buildings are now used as restaurants and hostels in the summer months.
These pictures show the tower in the south west corner of the enclosure prior to re-rendering of the monastery.
Images primarily of main tower as site was so overgrown that ready access to the rest of the site was not possible.
Omalo is the largest village in Tusheti and one of very few to be inhabited all year round. It has grown a great deal in the last ten years as it has become the centre for tourism in the Tusheti National Park. Dzveli (Old) Omalo has the largest concentration of guest houses within the park and the visitor centre lies just outside the village. It also boasts a twentieth century church and a pagan ritual enclosure south of the old part of the village. As at Dartlo, the cluster of towers above the village is given a different name to the rest of the settlement. In Omalo the towers are called Keselo.
Dartlo is located above a ford in the valley. The closest building to the river is a ruined stone structure that, on closer investigation possessed the traces of a fresco of an angel. This had obviously been a church in the past and was the only evidence of Christianity encountered on the first visit to Tusheti in 2006. By 2016 the village was more developed and second only in size to Dzveli Omalo for tourist infrastructure.
These images show the second external elevation of the tower at the SE corner of the cloister.
These are the buildings that survived the termite infestation that destroyed the rest of the range.
View of the modern buildings at the east end of the cloister with the remains of the mud brick range still extant to the south.
Only the tower and one room to its north survived when the original range of buildings along the east collapsed due to termite damage in the 1980s.