International archaeological excavations in Rabati Settlement

15 August 2019

Georgian National Museum (GNM) is carrying out international archaeological excavations in Rabati Settlement, village Zveli, Aspindza district.

Rabati represents a pre-settlement hill with a support system. It has a continuous trace of life from the Early Bronze Age (III millennium BC) to the Middle Ages. In this regard, Rabat is an important research site to determine how human adaptation to the environment has progressed and how socioeconomic and cultural changes have affected ancient populations during millenniums.

At this point, powerful buildings, dated back about 50 centuries ago, were discovered on Rabat's settlement, the architecture which is unique in the Caucasus region. Tombs and graves have been found in the vicinity of Rabat settlement. Along with household items, ritual artifacts, such as animal skeletons and other different items have been also discovered, analogs of which have not yet been found in our region. The layers of the later period feature figures of stylized animal made of clay from about 43 centuries ago, and presumably ritual vessels, giving a whole new idea of the people of that period. All of this indicates that in the Early Bronze Age the territory of the village of Zveli existed as an important settlement for the region.

Research on the Rabat settlement and the surrounding area is a large-scale international project. The expedition includes a field school, where dozens of students from the University of Melbourne go through archaeological excavations each year with Georgian students. In addition to Georgian and Australian archaeologists, specialists from France and the United Kingdom are also involved in the researches.

The discoveries of the Rabat settlement contribute significantly to increase the awareness of Georgian archaeological sites among scientists, as well as the positioning of Georgian National Museum as a scientific institution on the international scientific arena.

The scientific supervisor of the international expedition is Giorgi Bedianashvili, Senior Research Fellow of Georgian National Museum.

Archaeological excavations at the Rabat settlement are supported by Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation.