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About Dmanisi Museum-Reserve
Dmanisi Museum-Reserve is located in Kvemo Kartli region, Dmanisi municipality, in the village of Patara Dmanisi. The museum-reserve includes: a medieval town, archaeological layers of the Late Bronze Age and the Early Paleolithic monument of Dmanisi. It was introduced to the world after archaeologists discovered fragments of 1.8 million-year-old human bones during archaeological excavations. The person found in Dmanisi is the first European. The medieval town included the inner fortress, the secular and worship buildings of the city, the secret tunnel and the suburb buildings. VI century Dmanisi Sioni has a unique gate decorated with XIII century ornaments and inscriptions. Dmanisi was one of the most powerful cities. It was located on the trade crossroads.
Dmanisi was owned by the Arabs in the IX century, and it has been under the ruling of the Seljuks since the 1980s. In 1223 the city was liberated by David the Builder. In 1125, Dmanisi was taken by Demetre the first and from this time it was obeyed to the king. The city was especially developed in the XII-XIII centuries. During this period, trade and craftsmanship developed. There was a caravan route to Asia here. There was a mint in the city, wine making, oil and textile production, creating ceramic pottery. From the end of the XIV century, Dmanisi was in the hands of various invaders, and in the XIX century it eventually became a historic site. Dmanisi is one of the most important cultural and historical monuments of Georgia. The museum-reserve was established in 1983 and 2345 exhibits are preserved here.
Dmanisi historical site consists of two parts - the town on the cape and the suburb located both of the sides of river Phinezauri. To the south, the town has an old road that runs through the gate to the city. The street is lined with low walls, paved with stone. The houses are built of basalt, plastered on the inside. Qvevri(Georgian clay jars for making wine) are buried in the ground. Archaeological excavations have discovered remains of workshops, potteries and the mosque. The city is surrounded on three sides by the wall. It is quite damaged and the full height of the wall isn’t preserved anywhere. The relief is done in such a way, it makes impossible to dig and enter the fortress in this way. The walls are built of sandstone and basalt. There were battlefields inside.
There is an internal fortress inside the wall. It is separated by a specially built fence wall from the city. The only entrance to the city is the gate. The fortress had three battle towers. All of them are located on the southern. There are several residential buildings in internal fortress, at least 3 of which should be the palace of an important person. There is 200-meter-long secret water tunnel, which supplied water to the city during the siege. To the south of the city is a suburb located on both banks of the Phinezauri. There were cemeteries and a cemetery church on the left bank. Traces of mills can be found too. There were baths on the right bank. Dmanisi historic site includes several churches. Dmanisis Sioni is one of the most important among them.
Dmanisi Sioni (Dmanisi Church of Virgin Mary) is located in the center of the town. It is one of the most important examples of a three-church basilica. The church is built of small gray stones, bricks and cobblestones are also used. In the south-west corner there is a red stone with a Bolnisi cross on it. The church has a gate and a baptistery on the south side, and a Samkvetlo(room for preparation of liturgy) to the north side. The interior of the church has been painted, and the XIII-XIV centuries’ paintings have been preserved in the shrine: images of saints and inscriptions. The gate is different with its style and decoration from the main building. All three facades of the gate, all the columns and arches are covered with light green carved stone slabs. The gate has three inscriptions. Lasha-Giorgi is mentioned in one of them. A rectangular bell tower has been erected on the eastern side of Dmanisi Sioni, which has been renovated many times.
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