ახალი არქეოლოგიური აღმოჩენა დიდი შირაქის ველზე

Abstract
The South Caucasus is geographically an integral part of the Middle East, and their past must be considered equally. This was confirmed once again by archeological discoveries in eastern Georgia − the eastern part of the plateau between the rivers of Alazani and Iori, which dates back to the turn of the II and I millennia BC. This section of the Iori Plateau is a fertile field geographically strictly bordered by mountains, with an average elevation of 600 m above sea level and an average altitude of 800 m of the surrounding mountains. Its entire area is about 15 hectares. All three valleys of the plateau are currently marked by dry riverbeds. According to many sources, in the 11-10th centuries BC, this section of the Iori plateau, apparently, was a single socio-economic and political unit. Geographically, this well-defined area has one main entrance on the west side, which runs through the valley and is known by the placename of “Grdzeli (Long) Door”. It is protected by the mighty fortress of the 10th-9th centuries BC with a five-meter fence made of large stone blocks, and a gate reinforced with massive rectangular towers. In this sharply defined section of the Iori plateau, on the hillsides surrounding the plains, more than 40 well-planned small, two-part settlements were discovered in earlier years − with citadels on mountain ranges and dwellings on lower mountain slopes with separate strong fences and defensive trenches. All these settlements are part of the same culture and date approximately to the end of the II and the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. The cemeteries of these settlements have also been found. In 2014, in the central part of these settlements, in the field, the decipherment of satellite images and small archeological excavations revealed the grand remnants of the central city, which covers an area of about 50 hectares. From these, the citadel is 400X400 meters, surrounded by a complex, similar in structure to pre-Asian buildings, 7 m wide, at least 15 m high, and 1.5 km long. Excavations revealed a gate in the central part of the southern fence. Reconnaissance work indicated the presence of a secret tunnel for the city’s water supply and a large cemetery. In the citadel area, two large rectangular areas are also separated by a large fence, which, apparently, required special protection. The citadel is surrounded by a 15 m wide defensive ditch, and its northern part is surrounded by a second wide fence. A few years ago, in the east of this city, in a small settlement of a later time, a sewer network was discovered under a cobbled street, indicating that the hydro network was still full of water at that time. It should be noted that a bronze model of a horse-drawn chariot was found in one of the chapels of this settlement system, and in the tombs excavated in the cemeteries, all the men were armed with powerful bronze weapons − swords, daggers, spears and axes. It is also noteworthy that on the Iori plateau, far from the settlements, in the two great centers of religious life of the 10-9th centuries BC colossal quantities of bronze and iron weapons and agricultural tools were found, which gave this area and its culture a prominent place in terms of paleometallurgy throughout the Middle East. All this, as it were, confirms the unification of the society living here into a single socio-economic and, possibly, political system, bearing all the signs of a small state formation.This assumption is confirmed by large settlements of the 10-9th centuries BC. concentrated in the western part of the Iori plateau, in the David Gareji mountains, with a regular layout and powerful defensive structures, which may also indicate the existence of a small state system here. As is known, after the so-called “dark period” of the 12-11th centuries BC, small states arose en masse in the entire Middle East in the 10-9th centuries BC. After these discoveries on the Iori Plateau, the South Caucasus can be considered an organic part of the Old East during this period, since similar socio-economic and political processes apparently took place here. It is noteworthy that, according to experts, a large city discovered on the Iori plateau in 2014 was destroyed by a strong earthquake in the 9th century BC, which makes archaeological work here especially promising. A programmatic study of these discoveries in eastern Georgia will serve as the basis for a new understanding of the fundamental problem of the past in the South Caucasus and, possibly, in the entire Middle East.
Description
ივანე ჯავახიშვილის დაბადებიდან 146-ე წლისთავისადმი მიძღვნილი სამეცნიერო კონფერენცია
Keywords
აღმოჩენა, არქეოლოგია, შირაქის ველი, find, Archaeology, Shirakiu Valley
Citation
ივანე ჯავახიშვილის სახელობის თბილისის სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტის ჰუმანიტარულ მეცნიერებათა ფაკულტეტი, ჰუმანიტარულ მეცნიერებათა აქტუალური პრობლემები, თეზისები, თბილისი, 2022, გვ.: 117-122
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