It's a very long time that a human lives on the territory of Georgia. Here, near town Dmanisi, was found the remainder of the fossil human (Homo ex gr. erectus) the age of which is Plio-Pleistocene (approximately 1,8 million years). Nowadays this is the oldest fossil man in West Euroasia. During the Stone Age human gradually mastered the whole territory of Georgia. Already in the Acheul epoque (appr. 400-100 thousands years ago), the old dwellings are found as near the Sea, as in the internal regions of the country and in the highland zone of Georgia.

Approximately 6-7 thousands years ago people on the territory of Georgia began to use as the instruments not only the stone but the metals as well. And in the IV-III mill. B.C. the ancestors of Georgians learned to get and use the bronze. In the middle of the Bronze Age (the first half of the II mill. B.C.) there existed the strong unions of tribes on the territory of East Georgia. In the big excavations on the Trialeti Plateau, where the leaders of those unions used to be buried, are found as the bronze instruments and the earthenware pottery, but also the amazing examples of the Goldsmith Art.

Georgian origin belongs to the Paleocaucasian (or Caucasian) Ethnolinguistic Family, the representative people of which are the direct descendents of the oldest population of Caucasus. This Family is divided into three branches: 1) Western, or Abkhaz-Adighian; 2) Eastern, or Chechen-Dagestanian and 3) Southern, or Kartvelian. Appropriately, Western branch unifies modern Abkhazians, Abazians, Adighians, Cherkezians and Kabardians; Eastern branch - Chechenians, Ingushs and Dagestanians (Avarians, Lezgians, Darguelians, Laks and etc.); and Kartvelian is represented by Georgian people, which consist of three main subethnical groups - Karts, Zans or Mengrel-Chans and Svans. Division of the previous Kartvelian language into Georgian, Zanian and Svanian branches begins in the III-II mill. B.C.

In that epoch the Georgian tribes dwelled as on the big territory of modern Georgia, also in the regions of North-East Anatolia. At the end of the II mill. B.C. and at the beginning of the I mill. B.C. some of those tribes reached the threshold of the creation of the Country. In the XII cen. B.C. at the sources of rivers Chorokhi and Euphrates the early-class union Diaukhi was created. The population of Diaukhi had to hold hard struggles against the strong kingdoms of the Front Asia - Asuria and Urartu. In the IX-VIII cen. B.C. Urartu destructed and conquerred Diaukhi. After that the kings of Urartu began the wars against the Second Georgian Union on the Bank of the Black Sea - Kolkha. Kolkha must have been that strong Kolkhidian Kingdom, the glory and brilliancy of which was so obviously depicted in the old Greek Legend about Argounauts. In the 30-20 years of the VIII cen. B.C. this early Kolkhidian Kingdom was destructed by the Kimirians from North.

In the VII-VI cen. B.C. the Kolkhidian State was revived again. The center of this new Kingdom must have been on the river Rioni (old Phazisi). The basis of this period's Kolkhida was the developed agriculture, cattle-breeding and the iron metalurgy. On the basis of the internal developing, on the Rioni Valley was created the city-like settlements. In the VI-III cen. B.C. here began the process of minting of silver coins for the internal market.

From the VI cen. B.C. trade and other relations of Kolkhida with the Greek World were widening. Soon on the Black Sea coast appeared city-colonies of Greeks - Phasises (near Poti), Gienoses (Ochamchire), Dioskuria (Sukhum) and others.

In the IV-III cen. B.C. the Kingdom of Kolkhida was gradually weakening and at last it was destroyed. Its Eastern Regions entered the new-created, Eastern-Georgian Kingdom, Iberia.

by Dr. George Anchabadze

Maps Language Theater and Opera Cinema Wine Amirani


Georgian culture evolved over thousands of years with its foundations in Iberian and Colchian civilizations, continuing into the rise of the unified Georgian Kingdom under the single monarchy of the Bagrationi. Georgian culture enjoyed a golden age and renaissance of classical literature, arts, philosophy, architecture and science in the 11th century. The Georgian language, and the Classical Georgian literature of the poet Shota Rustaveli, were revived in the 19th century after a long period of turmoil, laying the foundations of the romantics and novelists of the modern era such as Grigol Orbeliani, Nikoloz Baratashvili, Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, Vazha Pshavela, and many others. Georgian culture was influenced by Classical Greece, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, and later by the Russian Empire which contributed to the European elements of Georgian culture.


A page from a rare 12th century Gelati Gospel depicting the Nativity from the Art Museum of Georgia in Tbilisi.
and The Manuscript of "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" (16th century)


Grapevine Cross of Saint Nino from the 4th century CE


Georgia is well known for its rich folklore, unique traditional music, theatre, cinema, and art. Georgians are renowned for their love of music, dance, theatre and cinema. In the 20th century there have been notable Georgian painters such as Niko Pirosmani, Lado Gudiashvili, Elene Akhvlediani; ballet choreographers such as George Balanchine, Vakhtang Chabukiani, and Nino Ananiashvili; poets such as Galaktion Tabidze, Lado Asatiani, and Mukhran Machavariani; and theatre and film directors such as Robert Sturua, Tengiz Abuladze, Giorgi Danelia and Otar Ioseliani.



St George slaying the Dragon. 15th century cloisonné enamel on gold. (National Art Museum of Georgia)
and Mother and Son by Niko Pirosmani
and Tondo depicting Saint Mamas from the Gelati Monastery, 14th–15th centuries


The Icon from Martvili (10th century)

Georgian Mythology - Key Characters and Concepts