Cultural Continuity at Samshvilde
Recent archaeological excavations conducted near the village of Samshvilde in eastern Georgia have helped to document striking elements of cultural continuity through a long period of time. A small parcel of land, ca. 2400m2 in area, revealed traces of human activity from four separate cultural periods. A multi-layered site, Samshvilde yielded Chalcolithic, Late Bronze Age, Hellenistic, and Medieval materials. In addition pottery fragments attributed to Middle Bronze Age (Trialeti culture) have been found out of context on the site. Important floral and faunal data obtained from the site also established a number of environmental sequences and provided useful historical insights.
Field investigations came in the form of rescue excavations carried out in quite difficult circumstances occasioned by natural demolition and pipeline construction. Consequently, full documentation was not always possible. However a number of key overall research themes were identified, each of which relate to questions of importance to Georgian Archaeology. Namely, the presence of critical links between the halcolithic and the subsequent Kura-Araxes culture and the persistence of certain, specific settlement patterns and building methods through a number of different cultural periods. We hope, the presentation of these results will stimulate the further exploration of these various themes.