Posted by: Kejeradze | აპრილი 28, 2012

Dmanisi / Дманиси

Dmanisi  is a townlet and archaeological site in the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia approximately 93 km southwest of the nation’s capital Tbilisi in the river valley of Mashavera.

The town of Dmanisi is first mentioned in the 9th century as a possession of the Arab emirate of Tbilisi, though the area had been settled since the Early Bronze Age. An Orthodox Christian cathedral – “Dmansis Sioni” – was built there in the 6th century. Located on the confluence of trading routes and cultural influences, Dmanisi was of particular importance, growing into a major commercial center of medieval Georgia. The town was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the 1080s, but was later liberated by the Georgian kings David the Builder and Demetrios I between 1123 and 1125. The Turco-Mongol armies under Timur laid waste to the town in the 14th century. Sacked again by the Turkomans in 1486, Dmanisi never recovered and declined to a scarcely inhabited village by the 18th century.

Extensive archaeological studies began in the area in 1936 and continued in the 1960s. Beyond a rich collection of ancient and medieval artifacts and the ruins of various buildings and structures, unique remains of prehistoric animals and humans have been unearthed. Some of the animal bones were identified by the Georgian paleontologist A. Vekua with the teeth of the extinct rhino Dicerorhinus etruscus etruscus in 1983. This species dates back presumably to the early Pleistocene epoch.

The discovery of primitive stone tools in 1984 led to increasing interest to the archaeological site. In 1991, a team of Georgian scholars was joined by the Germanarchaeologists from Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, and later the U.S., French and Spanish researchers.

Early human fossils, dubbed Homo georgicus, were found at Dmanisi between 1991 and 2005. At 1.8 million years old, H. georgicus may have been a separate species of Homo, predating Homo erectus, and represent the earliest stage of human presence in the Caucasus.

Subsequently, four fossil skeletons were found, showing a species primitive in its skull and upper body but with relatively advanced spines and lower limbs. They are now thought not to be a separate species, but to represent a stage soon after the transition between Australopithecus and Homo erectus, and have been dated at 1.8 million years.

Дмани́си — город (с 1981 года) в Грузии. Расположен на реке Машавера (приток Куры) в 30 км к юго-западу от железнодорожной станции Казрети.

Возник около VI века н. э. С IX века Дманиси владели арабы, затем турки-сельджуки, изгнанные в 1123 году Давидом IV Строителем. Расцвет города пришёлся на XII—XIII века, население было смешанным: грузины, тюрки, армяне, греки, русские, арабы и др. После разгрома Тимуром в конце XIV века город пришёл в упадок.

В 1486 года войска Государства Ак-Коюнлу напали на Дманиси и разорили его. В 1583 году царь Симон I взял Дманиси у турков-османов. К концу XVI века Дманиси превратился в село, а к середине XVIII века обезлюдел.

Близ Дманиси, в 10 километрах на восток, находятся развалины крупного средневекового города-крепости Дманиси. Площадь городища — около 25 га. Раскопки городища производились с 1936 года. В 1991 году в ходе раскопок были обнаружены останки вымершего представителя гоминид— Homo georgicus.

Сохранилась трёхцерковная базилика VI—VII вв, восстановленная в начале 18 в., притвор с богатой. Выявлены городские стены, ворота, многочисленные постройки. Найден клад из 25 золотых и серебряных украшений XII—XIII веков. На территории Дманиси были обнаружены останки первых европейцев – Зезви и Мзии.

На территории Дманиси в период верхнего и нижнего плиоцена обитал нынче вымерший вид страуса – Struthio dmanisensis.

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