History of Georgia
Georgia, a small country that lies amid Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Sandwiched between the Caucasus Mountains and the Russian Federation to the North; the Black Sea to the West; Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia to the South – Georgia is located on the Cultural and Geographical Crossroad.
The Paleolithic fragments of oldest known European ancestors were discovered in the village of Dmanisi, Georgia. The Archaeologists have found that these human remains were nearly 1.8 million years old.
Some excavations in the Satsurblia Caves have shown groups living before and after the last Ice Age (25,000 and 17,000 BCE). A bit of DNA was recovered from one of those skulls that revealed the person was male and one of the first discovered people to have had light skin and blue eyes.
The roots of the Georgian people extend deep in History. Assyrians, Hittites, Sumerians, Romans, Arabs, Persians, Byzantines, Turks, Mongolians, Russians – this is the short list of invaders that tried to conquest Georgia throughout its long, diverse, remarkable and blood-soaked history.
Georgian cultural heritage is equally ancient and vibrant which is justified by its exceptional geographical location. On the one hand, it is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and at the same time, Georgia occupies a central place in the Caucasus between the Black and Caspian Seas, where it has always played a significant role.
Georgians have created a Unique Alphabet, which is one of the 14 original scripts, known to date throughout the world. Georgian scripts are unique in their appearance, and their exact origin has never been established. They were granted the national status of intangible cultural heritage in Georgia in 2015 and inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016.
In their native language, Georgians call themselves as Kartveli and Georgia Sakartvelo.
One of the many origin stories of why the area was named Georgia (as opposed to the native Sakartvelo) is that the Greeks found the natives working diligently in the lands lush, fertile soil naming them “tiller of the land.” Scholars treat this story more like a legend and are more convinced that it came from the Persian name for the areas near the Caspian Sea as Gorgan, “land of the wolves.”
The legendary Kingdom of Kolhis, where the story of Jason and the Argonauts takes place, was located on the territory of Georgia. Although The kingdom of Kolhis is one of the central action areas of myths and tales it existed. This first nation-state on a Georgian alongside Kingdom of Diauehi land was formed in XIII century B.C. Kolhis no longer exists. However, its capital is the second biggest City in modern Georgia.
Zenith of Georgian culture and statehood is the period between XI and XII centuries. It when the Georgian Art, Architecture, and Literature reached their highest recognition. In Georgian History, it is referred as Golden Era.
Despite the political disintegration and partial loss of independence in the XIII-XVIII centuries, Georgian Culture remains to be selected for its rich tradition and revival of regional centers, in different ways reflected in all the historical parts of Georgia.
From 1801 to 1991, despite the first conquest of Georgia by the Russian Empire and then the Soviet regime, Georgian Culture has preserved its traditions and protect themselves from extinction.