Archaeological finds in the South Caucasus

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Recently on the territories of the South Caucasus (Armenia and Georgia) in the course of archaeological excavations, the experts have found a number of surprising ancient artifacts that have shocked the world. Today in this article we’d like to tell you some interesting facts about some of them. And those who are interested in archeology and wish to get more detailed information about these findings, we recommend to choose archaeological tours to Armenia and Georgia tosee the exhibits and visit the excavation sites.

Leather shoe

Some years ago in Armenia in Areni Caves, archeologists found a well-preserved ancient shoe (the right pair of leather sandals) made of a piece of cowhide. Inside it was filled with grass which was probably used to preserve the shape of the shoes. The archeologists are not sure yet whether this discovery belonged to a man or a woman. Initially, it was assumed that the shoe was worn about 6-7 centuries ago, but in the course of the examination carried out by two radio-carbon laboratories in Oxford, it was proved that the shoe is already 5500 years old. So, it turns out that this finding is 1000 years older than the pyramids of Giza and 400 years older than Stonehenge in the UK. The director of the Institute of Archaeology of Armenia, Pavel Avetisyan, noted during the press conference that this shoe had become the oldest example among archaeological discoveries of shoes on the terriotory of the Old World. This interesting finding became a real boom and was announced by leading mass media.


In 2007, no less interesting finding was discovered in the Areni cave. The experts excavated a wine press, details for wine fermentation, a wine cup, as well as grape seeds. The grape seeds were sent for DNA expertise for in-depth analysis and definition of grape varieties used for wine producing in ancient times. It was proved that this variety is still not lost and is used by winemakers. The experts also came to conclusion that the winery is no less than 6000 years old. The director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia PavelAvetisyan announced that this finding proves that Armenia is one of the oldest countries in the world for the wine production.

Metallurgical center

Since 1965 on the territory of Armenian Metsamor settlement archaeologists have carried out excavations. One of the most significant finding is a large steel center with two types of blast furnaces. It was proved that in ancient times here was treated iron, copper, mercury, zinc, and gold. In this area, the archaeologists had also found several caves that were supposed to serve as a warehouse for base metals. Scientists came to the conclusion that this center is already 6000 years old, and the first iron in the ancient world, most likely, was melted here. And themetal processingat Metsamor was continued in Egypt, Central Asia, and China.

Gold mines

Next, we’d like to tell you about some interesting archaeological finds in Georgia – the other unique country of the South Caucasus. Probably, many of you know the myth of the Golden Fleece and the country of Colchis. In fact, this country really existed and was located in the western part of present-day Georgia. According to the legend, the ancient inhabitants of Colchis scooped gold directly from rivers, and maybe that’s why archaeologists have so carefully searched for gold mines on the territories of modern Georgia. And indeed, in late 2000s at a distance of 50 km from Tbilisi on Sakdrisi Mount slopes were found tunnels where gold was mined in the ancient times. The scientists suggest that these tunnels belong to the IV millennium BC and are the oldest mines in the world. And it is interesting that despite their age there is still some gold preserved.

Ceramic vessel

As it is known Georgia is famous for its unique winemaking technologies and produces about 100 kinds of wine. The viticulture in the country extends to many centuries ago which is confirmed by the excavations made by archaeologists in eastern Georgia. Exactly here was found a ceramic vessel with the remains of grape seeds as well as some fragments of wine crockery. Studies have proved that this ceramic vessel dates to the VI millennium BC. and it means that it is already 8000 years that Georgians made wine from the cultivated grapevine. With these and many other curious facts about winemaking in Georgia, you can get acquainted by choosing wine tours to Georgia.

3 thoughts on “Archaeological finds in the South Caucasus”

  1. This April I traveled across Georgia from Tbilisi to Kazbegi by car. I was quite amazed by genuine beauty of Caucasian nature. The road goes up through the ancient villages with 1-2 floors houses. I stoped several times to take pictures of mountains view and buy churchkhela (traditional dessert). Definitely I will return here one more time.

  2. All archaeological finds in the Caucasus are the things of great value as this region is supposed to be the craddle of white race. White Anericans and people from Western Europe call themselves Caucasian that sounds rather strange for Georgia or Armenia inhabitants.

  3. I heard about that vessel when being on the wine tour last year. One more proof that Georgia is one of the oldest winemakers in the world. The taste and flavour of the drinks are always special and easy to recognize.

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