Dmanisi


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Dmanisi

 

an urban-type settlement and the administrative center of Dmanisi Raion, Georgian SSR. Located on the Mashavera River (Kura basin), 30 km southwest of the Kazreti railway station, the last station on the Marneuli branch line. The settlement has a dairy. Near Dmanisi, at the confluence of the Mashavera and Pinezauri rivers, are the ruins of the fortified city of Dmanisi (25 hectares in area), an important strategic point and a crafts and trading center of medieval Georgia. The city arose in the early Middle Ages. In the fortress there is a basilica enclosing three churches, built in the sixth and seventh centuries and restored in the early 18th century; the 13th-century narthex is richly adorned with carvings. The ruins of a belfry lie to the east of the basilica.

Dmanisi was conquered by the Arabs in the ninth century and later by the Seljuk Turks, who were driven out in 1123 by David IV the Builder. Dmanisi flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. The city had a mixed population of Christians and Muslims (Georgians, Armenians, Arabs). Soon after it was sacked by Tamerland in the late 14th century, the city began to decline. It was devastated by Mongol and Tatar, Persian, and Turkish invasions. By the end of the 16th century Dmanisi had become a village, and by the mid-18th century it was deserted. The city began to be studied in the mid-19th century, and excavations were begun in 1936. City gates, paved streets, baths, a tunnel to the river, houses, a potter’s shop, a vegetable oil mill, and other workshops have been unearthed, as well as shops, granaries, wine cellars, and a mosque with a minaret and medrese (college). A large assortment of local ceramics of the ninth and tenth centuries and especially the 11th and 12th centuries, coins from the llth to 13th centuries (mainly Georgian), tools, weapons, and a treasure of 25 gold and silver ornaments from the 12th to 13th centuries have been found at the site.

REFERENCES

Muskhelishvili, L. V. “Raskopki v Dmanisi.” In the collection Sovetskaia arkheologiia, fase. 6. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Lomtatidze, G. A. “Nekotorye itogi arkheologicheskikh raskopok pamiatnikov feodal’noi Gruzii.” Ibid., fase. 27. Moscow-Leningrad, 1957.
Jap’arize, V. “Shot’a Rust’avelis epok’is nak’alak’ari Dmanisi da misi ark’eologiuri shescavla.” Zeglis megobari, 8. Tbilisi, 1966.

G. A. LOMTATIDZE

References in periodicals archive ?
A similar range of fossils was discovered at an archaeological site in the town of Dmanisi in Georgia, the oldest hominin site outside Africa.
P First evidence of a bipartite medial cuneiform in the hominin fossil record: a case report from the Early Pleistocene site of Dmanisi. J.
This belief continued to thrive on, until the Dmanisi hominids were discovered.
et al., <<A Complete Skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, and the Evolutionary Biology of Early Homo>>, Science 342 (2013) 326-331.
Zollikofer, "First evidence of a bipartite medial cuneiform in the hominin fossil record: a case report from the Early Pleistocene site of Dmanisi," Journal of Anatomy, vol.
The skull, found in Dmanisi by anthropologists from the University of Zurich as part of a collaboration with colleagues in Georgia funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, has the largest face, the most massively built jaw and teeth and the smallest brain within the Dmanisi group.
A picture taken in Tbilisi yesterday shows David Lordkipanidze, director of the Georgian National Museum, holding a well-preserved skull from 1.8mn years ago found in the remains of a mediaeval hilltop city in Dmanisi. AFP/Tbilisi Georgian scientists presented yesterday a 1.8mn-year-old skull discovered in the Caucasus nation that researchers say could force a re-evaluation of current theories of human evolution.
DMANISI, Georgia -- The discovery of a 1.8-million-year-old skull of a human ancestor buried under a medieval Georgian village provides a vivid picture of early evolution and indicates our family tree may have fewer branches than some believe, scientists say.
Recent excavations of Dmanisi have revealed an extraordinary record of the earliest hominid dispersal beyond Africa (1.75 million years ago).