Iberia Forever

Otar Lordkipanidze


The reader is offered the paper by the wellknown archaeologist, Academician Otar Lordkipanidze (1930-2002) which came out as a preprint in 1993 and soon turned into a rare publication.

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There can be drastically differing answers to this question, yet each can be relevant and wellgrounded. Thus, some may hold that the history of Georgian civilization should start from the time of creation of a single Georgian state with a common Georgian culture and national self-consciousness, i.e. from the 10th century. Others may consider the 4th century to be the beginning of the history of Georgian civilization, for at that time Christianity was declared the state religion which laid a firm foundation for the development of Georgian national culture and consciousness.

I personally believe it admissible to commence the history of Georgian civilization from the time suggested by the medieval Georgian conception as found in Kartlis Tskhovreba (hence for ward abbreviated to KTs) - "History of Georgia", namely, with ,King Parnavaz. I do feel and understand the complexity of such a conceptualization of the question. Therefore my views are highly hypothetical and I shall try to set down only some of them. However, first a few words on how civilization should be understood.

Many views have been expressed in the specialist literature on the criteria and characteristic features defining "civilization". Of these most comprehensive is that of the eminent English archaeologist Gordon Childe, according to which, "civilization" should be characterized by state organization, the existence of a privileged class or classes, a system of taxes and centralized wealth accumulated through regular levying of tribute; a definite level of economic development and commercial relations, the emergence of professional artisans, writing, developed art, beginnings of science.

So-called primary seats - or as they are sometimes called, "primary civilizations"- are determined in scholarly literature upon the establishment in this or that society of the features just listed. These are followed by the so-called "secondary civilizations". In this case, we have to deal with concrete regional and national seats, i.e. with civilizations developing on a definite territory and connected with a definite ethnos, which enjoys a leading political status. The cultural values (language, literature, religious outlook, architecture and art, etc.) determine the national makeup and essence of this civilization.

Any national civilization - in the present case, Georgian - should in the first place be regarded as a complex socio-economic, political and culturalideological system, which is already familiar with the initial forms of exploitation and administrative and political organization. Naturally enough, such a complex system does not come into being all of a sudden. It is preceded by development over thousands of years, creating a solid foundation for civilization. If the development of human society in present-day Georgia and in the lands lying southward and settled by tribes of Kartvelian stock is viewed from this angle, we shall clearly discern in the archaeological material the gradual emergence of individual elements of civilization at separate stages of the country's multi-millennial history.

Suffice it to note that farming and cattle breeding begin to develop among Kartvelian tribes and on Georgian territory as far back as the 6th-5th millennia B.C., bronze metallurgy from the 4th millennium B.C., and iron metallurgy at the end of the 2nd- and the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. The latter played an outstanding role in the socioeconomic and political development of Kartvelian tribes, essentially laying a firm foundation for the gradual creation of the main, determining structures of civilization among Kartvelian tribes [1]. These tribes (Mushki//Meskhians), which had formed a state confederation [2], are already mentioned in l2th-7th cent. B.C., ancient eastern sources. The powerful political union of the Diauhi (Diaohi, Daiaeni), existing in the southern Transcaucasus in the 12th-7th cent. B.C. is recognized as a state of Kartvelian tribes [3]. Unfortunately, today we have little knowledge about these ancient Kartvelian state entities which no doubt reflected the earliest stage of the history of Georgian civilization and which can be tentatively called Kartvelian. We have comparatively better knowledge of one of the principal Georgian ethnoses, viz. the state confederation of the Colchians, which was already characterized by the basic features of civilization. As far back as the second half of the 2nd millennium B. C. Colchian tribes created a highly developed Bronze Culture on the territory of present-day Western Georgia, widely known in the specialist literature as Colchian [4]. The study of archaeological material points clearly to the rapid pace of technical progress and an high developmental level. Already from the middle of the 2nd millennium B.C. the development of bronze metallurgy is marked throughout Western Georgia by a number of technical novelties, the main being the manufacture and working of diverse alloys of differing characteristics. This in turn formed the basis for the wide production of more or less perfect farming equipment. A firm foundation was being laid for an intensive development of farming, particularly accented on growing grain crops and livestock-breeding - one of the essential elements of civilization. This process was accelerated further by the adoption of iron, the rate of its implementation being especially high in the 8th-7th cent. B. C. [5]. The archaeological finds of this period are noteworthy for the exceptionally large number of farming tools and their diversity.

The rapid growth of agriculture resulted in an intensive economic development of the Colchian lowland from the second half of the 2nd millennium B.C., this gradually paving the way for the creation of a single political organism. From the 8th-7th cent B.C. the state of Urartu [6] takes shape and then, that of Colchis - the latter widely known in Greek sources [7]. According to fresh archaeological discoveries, Colchis in the 6th-5th centuries B.C. emerges as a state advanced both economically and culturally, with almost all key elements of civilization in evidence: civic structure (territorial-administrative division) and central state authority (the royal dynasty of the Aeetids), intensive urban life (numerous urbanistic centres with multi-profile artisan manufacture and developed trade both within the country and with the outer world), a doubtlessly complex taxation system (patently illustrated by the great wealth - items of gold and other precious metals found in the burials of the élite), civic and cultic jargvali ("log cabin") type architecture, based on centuries-old fully developed traditions, wide use of metal - mainly iron, as well as bronze - in the economy, and so on.

The existence of writing in Colchis is a moot problem. However, it should be noted that the absence of writing cannot always serve as a proof of the nonexistence of a state. A complex historico- sociological, ethnological, and archaeological study, conducted recently in the African continent, has revealed a number of state confederations that do not use writing (the Yoruba city-states, Benin, the Monomotap "Empire", and others). It should nevertheless be noted that ancient Greek sources have preserved evidence on the existence among the Colchians of "writings of their fathers, graven on pillars (kurbeis)"[8], which some researchers take for a direct evidence of the existence of writing in ancient Colchis [9]. Some Greek and Byzantine authors (Palephatus, John of Antioch, Suida) tell of books written on skins [10] (in the context of the legend of the Golden Fleece). However, so far we have no material proof of the existence of monuments of Colchian writing in the available archaeological finds. Perhaps the use of Greek writing is not to be ruled out, as is attested in a number of highly-cultured countries of the world of the period under discussion. Names, scratched in Greek characters on pottery, found in some 5th cent. B.C. burials (Sairkhe, Itkhvisi) [11], believed to be local personal names, may serve as indirect proof of this. Thus, Colchis of the 7th-5th cent. B.C. represents an ancient society characterized by a number of essential features of civilization. The national makeup of this civilization was determined by its highlyspecific material culture (pottery, goldsmithery, jargvali architecture, bronze plastic art, etc.).

Now we are faced with the exceptionally difficult question of the role of Colchian civilization in the shaping of common Georgian civilization (statehood), and whether it vanished without a trace or became its integral part.

The ethnic affinity of the Colchians causes no doubt: they are unanimously acknowledged to be western Kartvelian tribes speaking the Megrel- Chan language which developed as the result of the differentiation of the common Georgian parent language [12]. There are fairly numerous arguments to support this conclusion [13]. I shall name only a few. The area of bronze culture referred to as Colchian, on the territory of Western Georgia essentially coincides with the diffusion of ancient Megrel-Chan place names (including in the areas no longer populated by Megrel-Chans, e.g. Imereti, Guria, Samtskhe-Javakheti and partly in the western and north-western parts of historical Inner Kartli) [14]. The evidence preserved in Byzantine literature is also highly significant. Thus, according to a 5th-cent. anonymous writer (called Pseudo-Arrian), "From Dioscurias, which is also called Sebastopolis, up to the Apsarus river (mod. Chorokhi) lived the people called Colchians, and were later named the Laz"[15]. The 6th-cent. Byzantine historian Agathias Scholasticus says: "The Laz are a mighty and brave tribe, and they lord over other powerful tribes as well; they take pride in the ancient name of Colchians, and are haughty beyond measure, and perhaps not without ground... I know of no other tribe so renowned and powerful - both in the abundance of wealth and the number of subjects, as well as in the richness of land, bumper crops, and the harmoniousness and refinement of their customs and mores"[16].

This evidence is significant in many ways. To an historian reared in traditions of Classical Greek historiography it primarily meant the existence among these people of a state system inherited from the ancient Colchian Kingdom. At the same time, the evidence just cited is a rare and clear illustration of national consciousness handed down from generation to generation, which was preserved even in the 6th century among the Laz - the creators on the territory of Western Georgia (Colchis), first of the Pontic Kingdom of Mithradates VI, and then of the new state called the Kingdom of Lazica [17], annexed later by the Romans. The Byzantines, too, were well aware of the existence of this consciousness among the Laz. The fact is also worth noting that the traditional name of the first Colchian King Aeetes was preserved among the Laz nobles. Thus, during the Byzantine-Iranian wars in the 6th century a local noble, called Aeetes, appears to have been an active political figure [18]. This is also an incontestable corroboration of Strabo's noteworthy evidence: "That Aeetes is believed to have ruled over Colchis and the name Aeetes is still locally current among the people of that region"[19]. Thus, the sources are unanimous in pointing to the genetic relationship of the Laz and the Colchians. The Laz have preserved their language to the present day, which - along with Megrel-Chan - is Western Georgian.

Thus, the Colchlans - the direct ancestors of present-day Megrel-Chans and the Laz - were the creators of the first state and civilization on the territory of Western Georgia [20]. The creation of a state was an act of major political importance in the developmental history of the local society. It was the highest form of political consolidation and ordering of social life according to the territorial-administrative principle in place of the local-tribal, i.e. primitive structures viewed from the angle of social and political development. This highly important fact, viz. the division of the country according to the territorial-administrative principle is confirmed beyond doubt by the sources and archaeological evidence. Thus, e.g. Strabo speaks of the division of Colchis into sceptuchies, i.e. administrative-territorial units, which corresponded to the later Georgian saeristavos [21]. The political centres of such administrative units have been discovered: Vani [22], as well as Sairkhe [23]. The concentration of masters of construction, jewellery artisanship, workshops for the manufacture of items of precious metals and clay, fabrics, and in general luxury goods, as well as weapons. The archaeological material shows also that already in the 6th, and especially in the 5th-4th cent. B.C. Colchian administrative centres (Vani, Sairkhe) had turned into major commercial and artisan centres [24]. The concentration of artisan manufacture at definite centres and accordingly, the emergence of a market, is a vivid proof of urbanization - an essential constituent structure of civilization according to the modern sociological conception.

Thus, the emergence of Colchian statehood, and respectively of civilization, essentially meant the creation in Western Georgia of territorial units based on the principle of administrative government, later forming part of a united Georgian state.

The shaping of a single ethnocultural system was one of the essential consequences of the creation of the Colchian state, which is graphically reflected in the archaeological material of 7th-4th cent. B.C. Colchis: a homogeneous, yet specific, culture (architecture, pottery, metal tools and weapons, ornaments, burial customs and religious beliefs and notions) spread throughout the territory of modern Western Georgia - within the bounds of the Colchian state [25]. Many-tribalness is obliterated, as it were, the same happening to groups of differing ethnic affinity which found themselves within the Colchian Kingdom.

Thus, the emergence of the Colchian state, and the development of Colchian civilization resulted in the creation of a number of state structures: administrative-territorial division, the rise of cities, borders and the guarding of the territory by the state authority [26]. Thus, at that time state, and in general, civilization, structures took shape, which subsequently became an organic part of a unitary Georgian civilization, suffering transformation conformably to the period. Another point is worth noting, viz. the foreign economic and cultural orientation of the Colchian state. Already from the 6th-5th cent. B.C. the entire population of Colchis was engaged in intensive trade and economic relations with the Greek world, in which a major role was played by the Black Sea and the Rioni-Qvirila (ancient Phasis) trade route. The Black Sea was the medium of lively commercial contacts between ancient Greece, viz. Athens and a number of other trade-and-artisan centres (Chios, Samos, Thasos and Miletus, Sinope, and others) and Colchis, attended by cultural relations. Advanced Greek, and subsequently Hellenistic, achievements in science, engineering, and culture generally, spread and transformed on local ground, were implemented, as reflected vividly in Colchian archaeological finds, which I shall not discuss here at length [27]. I shall hypothesize only that the lively contacts of Colchis with the Greek world, commencing regularly from the 6th-5th cent. B.C., may have determined in some measure the later orientation (in the first centuries of the new era) of the Georgian states to the Western Christian world, thereby paving the way for the tendency of European development of Georgian civilization.

The great political cataclysms following Alexander the Great's campaigns in the Near East and the emergence of Hellenistic states, the conquests of Mithradates VI, and then of the Romans, Byzantine- Iranian wars, etc. impeded the upward march of Colchian civilization. However, from the early 3rd cent. B.C. the eastern Georgian statehood emerged as a powerful force on the political scene, becoming the creator of a single Georgian civilization. This historic fact is described with astonishing clarity and precision in medieval Georgian historiography, viz. in KTs. One of the oldest parts of this corpus - "The History of the Kings", together with its conjecturally independent part, "The Life of Parnavaz", was compiled in the 5th cent. A.D. [28]. However, some researchers assign it even to an earlier date [29].

Old Georgian historical tradition, preserved in KTs and in The Conversion of Georgia (henceforward abbreviated to CG), graphically reflects the peripeteias of the creation of the Kingdom of Kartli, taking place against the background of a bitter struggle for supreme power in Kartli between individual aristocratic families [30]. The rulers of separate political entities of Eastern Georgia resorted to outside force in this struggle. Thus first the ruler of that southern province of Eastern Georgia which was once within the Iranian state and was hence called "Arian"i.e. Iranian Kartli [31], succeeded - with the support of the Pontic Kingdom - in extending his influence to the territory lying to the north of the Mtkvari (Kura). The CG refers to Azo, who came from Arian-Kartli, as "the first King"of Kartli [32]. However, the official version (KTs) does not acknowledge him as such, as he came to Kartli with the aid of a foreign (Greek) force as a conqueror. Azon's rule in Kartli, based on foreign power, was short-lived. An uprising took place in the country, led by Parnavaz, a representative of a noble family of Mtskheta: “A Kartlian on his father's side, an intelligent man, and a brave horseman”… “And all the Georgians broke away from Azon and came before Parnavaz”[33]. The struggle was doubtless bitter and relentless, as attested by traces of great destruction and fires at the ancient city or settlement sites of Samadlo, Tsikhiagora, etc. [34]. The uprising ended with the victory of the Georgians and the enthronement of Parnavaz. His accession is generally dated to 284 B.C. - the beginning of Georgian national chronology and the point of departure of the Koronikon [35].

According to the official historical tradition - as presented in KTs - "Parnavaz was the first king of Kartli", giving rise to the dynasty of the Parnavazids. That Parnavaz was an historical personage is proved by numerous facts [36]. From this point of view, considerable interest attaches to the novel interpretation of the 7th and 8th lines of the so-called Armazic text of the "Armazian bilingual inscription", according to which reference in them is to the name of King Parnavaz or the Parnavazid dynasty [37].

The evidence of KTs, viz. its oldest part bearing the full title "The Lives of the Georgian Kings and of Their Forefathers and Their Descendants", on the reforms carried out by Parnavaz, presents with amazing clarity all the features considered by modern scholarship as the determining elements of civilization as a system. In the first place, the setting up of a state ("Parnavaz was the first king of Kartli") with all its attributes: territorial division ("he appointed eight eristavis") and public administration ("appointed a spaspeti... and this spaspeti ruled all the eristavis in the name of the king. And under these eristavis he appointed spasalaris and atasistavis of provinces...").

Thus, the source under discussion fully represents the most essential feature of civilization - the state organization, which is confirmed by epigraphic monuments (reference to pitiakhshes or eristavis in the inscriptions of the "Armazi bilingual" and the Armazic script) [38] and self-evident archaeological material (the royal residence Armaztsikhe, and necropoleis of representatives of the administrative élite in various provinces of the country) [39].

One of the determinants of civilization (and of state) is "the system of taxes and centralized wealth accumulated through regular payment of tribute"(G. Childe). "The Life of the Kings"points out directly that Parnavaz divided the country into military and fiscal and administrative units or "thousands"(exactly like the chiliarchies of the Hellenistic states) [40], from which came tribute for the king and the eristavis. The magnitude of "the centralized wealth accumulated through this tribute" is graphically demonstrated by the exceptionally rich burial inventory discovered as a result of archaeological excavations in the vaults of members of the royal family (Armaztsikhe-Bagineti and the necropoleis of the nobles (Armaziskhevi, Bori, Zghuderi, Aragvispiri) [41].

Regarding cities - another essential and determining feature of civilization - the same Georgian source states that Parnavaz "Strongly fortified the city of Mtskheta, and rebuilt all the cities and strongholds of Kartli, laid waste by Alexander"[42]. That the indication of the Georgian historical source is not an invention but has real ground is proved both by evidence of the CG and by Strabo's description, who attended Pompey in his campaign in the Transcaucasus in 66-65 B.C.: "Furthermore, the greater part of Iberia (Kartli) is so well built up in respect of cities and farmsteads that their roofs are tiled, and their houses as well as their market-places and other public buildings are constructed with architectural skill"[43].

This evidence merits note not only for its statement regarding the large number of cities (which is attested by other Greco-Roman sources as well) but also by its emphasis on the existence of urban architecture here, which is also an essential feature in Gordon Childe's definition of civilization, and graphically demonstrated by the numerous civic and cultic tiled buildings, including palaces, temples, baths, water conduits, etc., brought to light in the urban centres of the Kingdom of Iberia or Kartli (Tsitsamuri-Seusamora, Sarkine, Dzalisa, Urbnisi, Uplistsikhe, Samadlo-Nastakisi, Tsikhiagora, and others) [44].

I shall not go into the details of other features of civilization whose existence in the Kingdom of Kartli - created by Parnavaz and known to the Greek world as Iberia - have been confirmed archaeologically: privileged classes and stratified society (patent in the burial customs and inventory and in residential buildings of the rich), commercial relations (as illustrated by numerous imported items and coins), the emergence of professional artisans and developed art (represented by fine specimens of architecture, pottery, toreutics, goldsmithing, and glyptic), farming and livestock-breeding based on grain crops (diverse metal tools used in farming and household economy, and clayware, finds of different varieties of cereals and bones of domestic animals) [45]. Thus, Georgian national, as well as foreign historical sources and archaeological material, present with sufficient clarity the so-called systems unit of features determining civilization (statehood, cities and urban architecture, artisanship and trade, classes, and so forth), which would seem to give full ground for acknowledging - from the standpoint of modern scholarship - the state created by Parnavaz and its society as a true civilization. Even more significant is the fact that the evidence contained in KTs points to structures characteristic of a national civilization, e.g. religion: "Parnavaz made a great idol in his name: it is Armazi... He raised this idol on the top of the mountain of Kartli, and since then the place was called Armazi on account of the idol"[46]. The CG contains a description of this idol: "There stood a man made of copper, and he was clad in a coat of mail of gold, and he had a gold helmet, and he wore breast-pieces of emerald and beryl, and he held a sharp sword in his hand, which shone and turned in his hand, so that whoever touched it was doomed to death".... "And to his right there stood an idol of gold, and its name was Gatsi, and to his left, an idol of silver, and its name was Ga"[47]. Thus, here we have a triad of supreme deities (Armazi, Gatsi and Ga), with Armazi as the chief one [48]. This meant not only the establishment of a new cult, but a single state national cult, opposed henceforward to the local tribal or communal cults. The supreme deity, Armazi, personified the supreme ruler of the state. Like the monarchs- despots of the Hellenistic East, the first king of Kartli proclaimed himself a god but, unlike the Hellenistic kings, he did not personify any Greek god but the oldest and supreme deity of the Georgians themselves! This was at the same time a political act of great significance: the establishment of the cult of the king was designed to strengthen the belief among the subjects of the supremacy of the authority of the king of Kartli.

Along with state organization, writing is considered to be one of the crucial features of civilization (naturally including national civilization). It is highly significant that old Georgian tradition credits Parnavaz with the invention of Georgian writing: "He created the Georgian writing"[49]. Here I shall not discuss the highly controversial question connected with the origin of Georgian capital script [50]. Although no Georgian monuments of the pre- Christian period have so far been found, the direct reference of the Georgian source to Parnavaz as the inventor of Georgian writing is highly noteworthy. There is no ground to question the realness of this evidence - the more so that all the other evidence of the same source regarding Parnavaz and his activity is confirmed beyond doubt by epigraphic and archaeological materials. Whether the author of the "Life of Parnavaz" meant specifically capital or some other letters is another matter. Perhaps he had in mind the so-called Armazi writing whose examples have been found at many places on the territory of the ancient Kingdom of Kartli [51], or maybe a special system at present referred to as Georgian alloglottography? [52]. These questions are difficult to solve on the basis of the available material. The main point here is that the historian of Parnavaz considered "Georgian writing" as an organic part of the state (civilization) created by Parnavaz. The following evidence is also noteworthy in many respects: “Parnavaz spread the Georgian language and no other language but Georgian was spoken in Kartli."This clearly reflects the creation of a single ethnocultural system (like in Colchis) in place of multitribal structures. It is obvious from this evidence that Parnavaz proclaimed Georgian the state language. It is not crucial here to know when the history of the reign of Parnavaz was written - in the 2nd- or, which is more probable, in the 5th cent. A.D. [53]. Important is the fact that it formed an organic part of KTs - an official monument of Old Georgian historiography the purpose of which, as aptly noted by the Georgian historian N. Berdzenishvili, was "to say that in the time of Parnavaz and through him a state of the Georgians was created, with Georgian territory, Georgian language, Georgian administration system (though borrowed), Georgian religion, Georgian writing, and a Georgian king"[54]. In other words, posterity perceived the reign of Parnavaz as the birth of Georgian civilization. That is why I, too, believe that the history of Georgian civilization should start with Parnavaz and the state created by him - the more so that this is how old (perhaps the first?) Georgian historians viewed it, as I have tried to show. From this point of view interest attaches also to the evidence of KTs on the address of Kuji, the ruler of Egrisi or Western Georgia to Parnavaz: "You are the son of the chieftains of Kartli, and it is proper that you be lord over me... You shall be our lord and I your servant”[55]. It is interesting that in the Old Armenian 13th-century translation of KTs this passage reads thus: “You are the first mamasakhlisi of the House of Kartli, and it befits you to be the prince. And now you be lord, and I your servant"[56]. It is highly significant that the ruler of Egrisi (3rd cent. B.C.), successor to the ancient Kingdom of Colchis (6th-4th cent. B.C.), already considers himself the son of Kartli (“the House of Kartli”), and henceforward his country becomes part of Kartli. The long process of unification of the territories populated by Kartvelian tribes began with Parnavaz. In his time the entire Eastern Georgia (Kartli, Kakheti, Samtskhe, Javakheti, Kola, Artaani, Klarjeti) and the eastern and south-western provinces (Egrisi, Apkhazeti, Achara) of Western Georgia (historical Colchis) came within the Kingdom of Kartli [57].

Thus did a single Georgian ethnocultural system take shape, based on a single socio-political and economic organism, both giving rise to Georgian civilization. A new stage in the development of this civilization began with the proclamation of Christianity the state religion. As to what Christian Kartli inherited from its preceding society is a rather complex problem, which calls for special research. However, at present it can be said positively that the principal types of the state system were retained, primarily that of territorial-administrative division, urban structures (Kaspi, Dzalisa, Nastakisi, Urbnisi, Uplistsikhe, etc.), to say nothing of some elements of civic and cultic architecture. However, most important was the fact that Christian Kartli inherited the language of the first Georgian state - that of Georgian civilization, which Parnavaz "spread.... And no other language but Georgian was spoken in Kartli."This is the language in which divine service became the symbol of national unity: "Georgia is reckoned to consist of those spacious lands in which church services are celebrated and all prayers said in the Georgian tongue"(D. Lang's translation, The Georgians, Thames and Hudson, London, 1966, p. 109), said Giorgi Merchule back in the 10th century.

Thus, Georgian civilization is the product of long development, its individual elements taking shape at the common Kartvelian level. Following its differentiation, structures began to emerge within the political, socio-economic and cultural development of the principal Georgian tribes (the Svans, the Megrel-Chans, the Karts//Meskhians) whose unification into a single organism created Georgian civilization, i.e. a Georgian state with a Georgian language. Its author, according to Old Georgian historical tradition was Parnavaz, "the first king of Kartli". A study of the written sources and archaeological evidence from the modern sociologicalculturological angle leads us to the same view. The study of the origins of Georgian civilization shows clearly also that statehood and its attendant civilization were created only by Georgian tribes. If non- Georgian tribes came within the Georgian state, they formed its integral part and enjoyed the fruits of its civilization.


1. For details see O. Lordkipanidze, Archeologie in Georgien
(von der Altsteinzeit zum Mittelalter), Weinheim, 1991, S.
43ff. (with a bibliography).
2. N. Khazaradze. The ethnopolitical problems of the ancient
history of Georgia, Tbilisi, 1989 (in Georgian).
3. G. Melikishvili. The ancient confederations of the southwestern
Georgian population, in Essays on Georgian History.
I, Tbilisi, 1972, p. 364ff. (in Georgian).
4. T. Mikeladze. Researches in the history of the ancient population
of Colchis and the south-eastern Black Sea littoral,
Tbilisi, 1974 (in Georgian); O. Japaridze, The archaeology
of Georgia (Stone and Bronze Ages), Tbilisi, 1991, pp. 200-
227(in Georgian); O. Lordkipanidze. Archдologie ..., S. 93f.
5. D. Khakhutaishvili, The manufacture of iron in ancient
Colchis, Tbilisi, 1987 (in Russian); O. Lordkipanidze,
T. Mikeladze, La Colchide aux VIIe-Ve siйcles. Sources йcrites
antiques et archйologie, in La Pont-Euxin vu par les Grecs
(ed. O. Lordkipanidzй; P. Lйvкque), Paris,1991, pp. 182-185.
6. G. Melikishvili, The ancient confederations ..., p. 366ff.
7. For details see T. Mikeladze, Researches..., O. Lordkipanidze
Das alte Kolchis und seine Beziehungen zur griechischen
Welt vom 6. zum 4. Jh. v. Chr., Xenia (Konstanzer
althistorische Vortrдge und Forschungen), Heft 14, Konstanz, 1985.
8. Apoll. Rhod., Argon., IV, 279-282, LCL, London, 1955, p. 313.
9. A. Urushadze, Ancient Colchis in the legend of the Argonauts,
Tbilisi, 1964, p. l51 ff. (in Georgian).
10. For details see A. Urushadze, Ancient Colchis ..., pp. 151-
152, with references.
11. Cf. I Gagoshidze, The Itkhvisi burial, Bulletin of the Georgian
State Museum, XXV-B, Tbilisi, p. 40 (in Georgian).
12. J. Deeters, Das kartwelische Verbum, vergleichende Darstellung
des Verbalbaus der sьdkaukasischen Sprachen, Leipzig, 1930, S. 3.
13. Th.V. Gamkrelidze; V. Ivanov, The Indo-European Language
and the Indo-Europeans, II Tbilisi, 1984, pp. 888- 891, n. 2 (in Russian).
14. T. Mikeladze,Researches ...., p. 26ff.
15. Anonymi Periplus Ponti Euxini, XLII, 7.
16. Agath., III, 8-11.
19. Strabo, I, 2, 39.
20. A. Chikobava, Grammatical analysis of Chan, Tbilisi, 1936
(in Georgian); A. Kiziria, The Zan language, in:Yyazyki
narodov SSSR, IV, Moscow, 1967 (in Russian).
21. Strabo, XI. 2. 18; O. Lordkipanidze, Archдologie.... S.112.
22. O. Lordkipanidze, Vani dans la structure du royaume
colchidien, in „La Pont-Euxin...”, pp. 289-294; O. Lordkipanidze,
Vani: ancient city of Colchis, in “Greek, Roman and
Byzantine Studies”, 32, 1991, p. 161ff.
23. J. Nadiradzй, La site archйologique de Sairkhe, in „Le
Pont-Euxin ...”, pp. 213-222.
24. For a detailed discussion of the spread of Greek import
in Vani and its environs see: Vani (archaeological excavations),
VII, Tbilisi, 1983 (in Georgian).
25. For details see O. Lordkipanidze, Archдologie..., S. 115ff.
26. Archaeological materials attest to the organization of the
defense of the territory. Thus, at the approaches to Vani,
in the village of Mtisdziri, a 4th cent. B.C. tower has been
discovered, built to defend the frontiers of the administrative
unit: For details see G. A. Gamkrelidze, Sites of ancient
settlements of central Colchis, Tbilisi, 1982, p.17ff.
(in Georgian). G. A. Gamkrelidze, Toward the study of
ancient Colchian wooden defensive structures, Bulletin
of the Academy of sciences of the Georgian, Tb., 88, #2,
1977. pp. 501-505 (in Russian). G. A. Gamkrelidze, On the
archaeology of Phasis valley, Tbilisi, 1992, pp. 67-99, 60-
81 ff (in Russian).
27. O. Lordkipanidze, Das alte Kolchis..., S.34ff.
28. Z. Alexidze, The life of Parnavaz, Mnatobi,1985, N 12,
pp.152-157 (in Georgian); N. Shoshiashvili, Some questions
of the history of the compilation of Kartlis Tskhovreba,
in Aktualnye problemy izucheniya i izdaniya pismennykh
istoricheskikh istochnikov, Tbilisi, 1985, p.107 (in Russian).
29. R. Baramidze, Towards the study of Georgian writing,
Tbilisi, p. 33 (in Georgian).
30. Cf. O. Lordkipanidze, The Classical World and the Kingdom
of Kartli, Tbilisi, 1968, p. l8ff.
31. The Conversion of Georgia; in Monuments of Old Georgian
Hagiographic Literature, I (ed. I. Abuladze), Tbilisi, 1968.
pp. 81-82 (in Georgian).
32. G. Melikishvili, Kartli (Iberia) in the 6th-4th cent. B.C. The
Eemergence of the Kingdom of Kartli. in Essays on Georgian
History, I, Tbilisi, 1970, pp. 443ff. (in Georgian).
33. KTs - Kartlis Tskhovreba, I (ed. S. Qaukhchishvili), Tbilisi, 1955, p. 20ff.
34. Cf. O. Lordklpanidze. Archдologie.... S 148f, (with references).
35. P. Ingoroqva, The Old Georgian chronicle “The Conversion
of Kartli”and the list of Iberian kings of the Classical
period, Bulletin of the Museum of Georgia, XI, Tbilisi, 1941,
p. 313 (in Georgian.).
36. Cf. O. Lordkipanidze. The Classical World and the Kingdom
of Kartli, p. 20, notes 16-28 (in Georgian).
37. G. Giorgadze, I. Sh. Shifman, Towards the interpretation
of the Armazian bilingual inscription, Vestnik drevnei istorii,
N4, Moscow, 1988, p. 168 ff.
38. G. Tsereteli, The bilingual inscription from Armazi, Tbilisi,
1941, p. 51-64.
39. A. Apakidze, Cities and urban life in old Georgia, Tbilisi,
1969, p. 85ff. (in Georgian).
40. O. Lordkipanidzй, La Gйorgie б l’йpoque hйllйnistique,
Dialogues d’histoire ancienne, N 9, 1983, pp. 167-216.
41. See O. Lordkipanidze, Archдologie ...., S. 168-169.
42. Kartlis Tskhovreba, I, p. 25.
43. Strabo, XI, 3,1, LCL, vol. V, p. 217.
44. For details see O. Lordkipanidze, Archдologie, S. 158f.
45. Ibid.
46. Kartils tskhovreba, I, p. 25.
47. The Conversion of Georgia, p. 119.
48. G. Giorgadze, The Hittite-Armazian triads, Mnatobi, N 7,
I985, pp. 157.
50. Th.V. Gamkrelidze, Alphabetic writing and the Old Georgian
script, Tbilisi, 1989 (in Georgian).
51. K. Tsereteli, A new inscription in Aramaic script from
Mtskheta-Samtavro, Matsne (series of history), N 3, Tbilisi,
1987, pp. 155-178 (in Georgian); the same in English,
Tbilisi, 1980.
52. Th. V. Gamkrelidze, op, cit., p. 198ff.
53. See refs. Nos. 28 and 29.
54. N. Berdzenishvili, The manifestation of class and intraclass
struggle in Georgia’s foreign-political relations, in
Proceedings of the Institute of History, I, Tbilisi, 1955, p.157.
55. Kartlis Tskhovreba, I, p. 22.
56. The Old Armenian Translation of Kartlis Tskhovreba (ed. I.
Abuladze), Tbilisi, 1953, p. 31.
57. D. Muskhelishvili, The main problems of the historical geography
of Georgia, Tbilisi, 1977, pp. 54ff. (in Georgian).

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