Dzalisa Museum
23 February 2015

The Activity and Finds of the Italian-Georgian Archeological Missions in Georgia

The Embassy of Italy and the Georgian National Museum are proud to present The Activity and Finds of the Italian-Georgian Archeological Missions in Georgia (Dmanisi, Dzalisa, Natsargora, Aradetis Orgora, Aspindza)  Event will take place on Thursday 23rd January 2014    

The museum is temporarily closed to visitors due to renovations.


Visitor Information

Working hours

Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Last admission 30 minutes before closing.

CLOSED on Monday, and official holidays

Entrance Fees

Adults 3 Gel
Students 0.5 Gel
School pupils   0.5 Gel

Submission is free of charge for:

  • Children under 6 years
  • ICOM members
  • Friends of Museum (become a member)
  • Museum employees
  • People with special needs and for their accompanying persons
  • Georgian and foreign journalists

Note: visitors receiving special benefits or free admission privileges should present relevant documents

Guided Tours

School children groups 10 GEL
Georgian Language 25 GEL
Foreign Languages (reviewing tour, approximately 1 hour) 45 GEL
Foreign Languages (extensive tour, 1,5-2 hours) 60 GEL
Exclusive tour (booking in advance)  200 GEL 

Guide service is delivered in Georgian, English, German, and Russian languages.


Cloakroom service is free for the following items: 

  • Coats and jackets
  • Umbrellas
  • Travelling bags and backpacks
  • Motorcycle/bicycle helmets
  • Musical instruments

Handbags (maximum size A3) can be brought into the museum. In case of questionable items , a decision will be made by authorized personnel.

 Following items cannot be checked:

  • Money, documents, and identification documents
  • Check cards and credit cards
  • Valuables
  • Handbags

In case of violating the aforementioned policy, the Georgian National Museum is not responsible for the loss or damage of any items.

Visitors should collect their belongings by the end of the working day. After the museum closes all the items left behind are considered lost. In case of loss of checked items, authorized personnel should be notified immediately.

Recommendations and Regulations

  • The last entrance tickets are sold 30 minutes prior the end of working day. Visitors should leave exhibition halls 10 minutes before the museum closes.
  • Children (under 12) should be accompanied by parents or authorized persons
  • Parents, teachers, nurses, and group supervisors are responsible for children's actions
  • Running, smoking, and excessive noise are prohibited in the museum. Parents are asked not to carry small children on their shoulders.
  • Eating and drinking is allowed only in the cafe or the yard terrace of the museum
  • Each member of the group should stay nearby the authorized supervisor
  • Copying art works in exhibition hall without authorization from the museum administration is prohibited
  • Visitors must keep their tickets until the end of the visit
  • The following items are prohibited in any part (social or exhibition) of the Georgian National Museum: chemical and toxic substances; firearms and weapons; food and plastic bottles; sharp, overweight, or oversized items; other art works, art work reproductions, or casts; scooters, skateboards, or bicycles; pets and animals.

Photo and Video Shooting

  • Taking photos of the museum building and permanent exhibitions for personal purposes are allowed without using flash and tripods
  • Photo and video are strictly prohibited at temporary exhibitions
  • Photography for commercial purposes is subject to prior negotiation and written permission issued by the museum administration and communications department
  • Taking photo or video featuring GNM employees is a subject of prior negotiation with the museum administration


Access help for people with disabilities

The GNM offers various museums with the special facilities to make your visit more enjoyable. If you have any enquiries regarding facilities and services for disabled people, please contact us by telephone + (995 32) 299 80 22.

Entry to the Museum is free and people with disabilities are entitled to free admission to all the Georgian National Museum exhibitions.


After the exhibition, you can visit our stores with your friends and family members. Purchase beautiful jewelry, accessories, great books, postcards and more, all inspired by the GNM's collection. Stores are available at: Museum of Georgian History, National Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts and Sighnaghi Museum.


Contact Information: 

Village of Dzalisa, District of Mtsketa, Georgia
Tel: +(995 32) 299 80 22
Fax: +(995 32) 298 21 33


Dzalisa is one of the most important archeological monuments in the historic kingdom of Kartli (Iberia). Archeological excavations were carried out in 1971-1990 by Nasataki Archeological Expedition from the Archeological Research Center at the Georgian Ivane Javakhishvili Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography. The ruins of an ancient city were found in the Village of Dzalisa, in the Mukhrani Valley, 20 km southwest of Mtskheta. The site has been identified as the City of Dzalisa mentioned in the "Geographic Manual" by the Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy in the second century CE.

Archeological finds indicate that Dzalisa is an example of the development of rural life in Iberia, around the first century CE. The ancient settlement was spread over 70 hectares; a 6-hectare artificial hill on the right bank of the river Narekvavi is considered to be a citadel. The archaeological expedition revealed cultural layers from different periods, and the ruins of early modern monuments can also be found at the site.

Intersecting streets and squares demonstrating urban planning and paved by brick tiles were discovered among the ruins of the city; public buildings, houses, and temples buildings were decorated with distinguished mosaic. The city also had an advanced plumbing system, with some pipes to supply water in the bath-houses and others to carry away sewage.

The earliest material found in the ruins of the city dates back to approximately 200 BCE; the major buildings are dated to 100-400 CE.

The most distinguished among the buildings are monument houses. One sophisticated multi-room architectural complex covers 2500 square meters. The ruins of the building, 1.5 meters underground, were excavated in 1984-1985. It is the largest castle-type building found in Georgia so far. This immense building even included a yard- atrium with fountain (8.35 X 8.35 square meters). A smaller atrium castle was discovered in 1974-1975. The larger of the two consists of about 30 different rooms. Bedrooms, meeting rooms, two sectional bathrooms with plumbing were revealed. Cobble-stone, limestone, sandstone, brick and ceramic tile were used as building materials.

The well-preserved central heating system (including hypocausts, or under-floor heating) was a significant discovery, as it provides evidence for archaeologists' speculations about high standards of living and construction quality. The hypocaust was located at the center of the castle in order to provide heat for the whole building. It is square-shaped (11.8 X 11.8 meter) and provided heat to an area of 139.2 square kilometers. Specially made, narrow-headed clay pipes were used as radiators. Rectangle-shaped windows were carved on the pipes.

The castle also had a unique, 800 square meter swimming pool. At the northern part of the pool one could find a set of 9 steps with benches arranged in the corners. The floor and exterior walls were paved with hydraulic solution. The swimming pool is connected to a bathroom by two double water pipes, indicating that the swimming pool and the bathroom could have been a shared complex. At the south end of the swimming pool, archaeologists discovered on of the larger buildings of the Dzalisa complex, referred to as the arcaded building, dated to the fifth century CE.

An artistic floor mosaic found in Dzalisa's Roman-type bathrooms, excavated in 1972, provides evidence of the development of provincial life in the ancient Iberian Kingdom. This type of mosaic can also be found in Bichvinta Basilica (Abkhazia, Western Georgia) and the village of Shukhuti (Guria, Western Georgia), which features Roman bathrooms in dating to 200-600 CE.  

The mosaic floor in the apodarium (changing room) was preserved. In the frigidarium, 8-pointed star ornaments are depicted, and archaeologists found remnants of an ocean scene, with Tethys (a water goddess) surrounded by fishermen riding dolphins. Only the images of shells, dolphins and a fishnet remain preserved. Analogues of these mosaics can be found among the well-known samples at Antioch, Cilicia and Garn, all of which feature ocean scenes.   

Fragments of peacock and geometrical ornaments were found in the tepidarium (warm baths heated by the hydrocaust). It is thought to be the artwork of a different artist, as the style of the fragment has unique qualities not found in the first

A monumental mosaic floor was also discovered in the dining of room at one of the castles, but it is not well preserved.