Thea Tsulukiani visits archaeological complex “Cut Gori” in village of Imiri

Georgia: The Georgian Minister of Culture and Sports Thea Tsulukiani, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environment and Agriculture Otar Shamugia, and representatives of the local municipality visited the archaeological complex “Cut off Gori” in the village Imiri of Marneuli Municipality.

The project, designed to protect and develop the site, plans to close it and provide road and engineering infrastructure and parking. Visiting the archaeological monument, and taking in the environment and landscape will be possible by climbing a pedestrian ramp hanging on the farms.

Archaeological excavations on the site began in 2006. Professor Mindia Jalabadze led the expedition. Since 2014, the works have become larger.

A clay vessel was discovered in 2015 and sent to the University of Philadelphia for analysis in the United States, where it was found that 8000-year-old wine remains in the pores of the vessel. In 2017, this archaeological discovery was named among the 10 most important discoveries in the world. It reveals a rich history, which presents Georgia’s land as a wine cradle.

It means that in 2021, when the Ministry of Culture was formed as a separate body, Minister Thea Tsulukiani visited the house together with then Minister of Environment and Agriculture Levan Davitashvili.

Through the mediation of Levan Davitashvili and the municipality’s promotion, the territory was handed over to the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. As the area was threatened by natural occurrences, the Ministry of Culture took measures to protect it. 

This archaeological zone and inhabited land is represented as a building of rubbish, which was washed away by wind and rain, so in 2022 the ministry allocated five million GEL, after which it began to set up the appropriate infrastructure to protect the monument and visitors to see the place, where the ancient traces of both grape and wine have been found.

Imiri’s “cut hill” is unified in the lower Shulaveri group’s housing and is the best example of the statues. It dates back to BC Y. From VI to V centuries. Fragments of clay utensils were found at different levels, mostly light-colored with a polished surface.

Especially remarkable is the fact of finding grape nuts and plants (melons, golo, tatabo, field nuts, shalafa (valami), shastra, natsarkatama, flat pomegranate) seeds at the bottom of the pit. Apart from the pit, cultural relics were found all over the excavated area. In both nuts, more or less equal amounts of ceramic remains, crushed stone material, bone materials, and deer horn weapons were found.

The supporters of the work done by the archaeological expedition are the Georgian National Wine Agency and the University of Toronto (Canada).

The works will be completed by June this year. The next stage will begin the furnishing of the area. The “Cut Hill” will be an open-air museum, as well as an educational and scientific zone, where archaeological excavations will continue.


Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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