Two Colchian Archaeological Monuments (8th-6th centuries BC)

Vakhtang Licheli
Centre for Archaeological Studies, Tbilisi

The two monuments dating hack to the 8th-6th centuries BC, undoubtedly of Colchian origin are situated in different regions: the first one - a settlement - is located on the coastline of the Kolkheti lowlands, while the other, in the shape of a necropolis, has been excavated in the mountainous southern part of Georgia.
1. The settlement site was discovered in the village of Qulovi, the very place where the Khobi river joins the Black Sea. It represents a small elevated hillock (about 1,5 m from the river level) made of earth excavated from the surrounding swamps by the first settlers . The settlement site contained two layers (8th-6th centuries and 4th century BC), although earlier materials (beginning of the 1st millennium BC) have also been found here and there. The layer dated to the 8th-6th centuries BC is rather thick (about 2 m). The remains of the discovered buildings are typical of Colchian constructions - a wooden frame, plastered with a 5-10 cm clay layer. All buildings are quadrangular in shape, having different orientations. Though none of the buildings has an opening in the west wall. This should be explained by the existence of strong west winds.
Clay vessels (pots, jugs, bowls, etc.) as well as artifacts connected with metal working (stone moulds) and agriculture (handmills) were discovered on the site. Of great importance are double-protome clay figurines (rams, dolphins?), which find analogies in Colchis (Vani, Nokalakevi) as well as in mainland Greece (Olympia).
2. The necropolis was discovered in southern Georgia (at the village of Mzetamze), the following chronological groups have been identified: the beginning of the1st millennium BC; the 8th century BC and the 5th-3rd centuries BC. The pitgraves are characteristic of the first two stages, represented by highly artistic bronze materials and little ceramics; cist graves are characteristic of the second stage, where pottery, metal and silver items were found in abundance.
Of great importance are bronze bow-fibulae, genetically connected with the Aegean world, Scythian doublewinged arrowheads and a bronze disc, with analogies in Olympia.

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