“Tsikhiagora” is one of the significant archaeological monuments of East Georgia. It is located in Kaspi municipality, northwards from a village Kavtiskhevi. Multi-horizon monuments of Tsikhiagora reflects three millennia development of the culture, starting from Early Bronze and inclusive Antique era.

The upper, first layer of  Tsikhiagora, with 8 construction horizons, is attributed to Hellenistic epoch, is dated by 3rd -2nd cc B.C. This layer is presented by unique cathedral complex.
There is no such good condition and comprehensively studied monument in Eastern Georgia.  The 2nd layer, of Achaemenid period is attributed to the 5th -4th c. B.C. It is presented in the form of remnants of cult constructions. The 3rd layer, of Late Bronze - Early Iron period is presented by 2 construction horizons, is attributed to the second half of the 2nd millennium B.C – first half of the 1st millennium. It is a former settlement. The 4th layer, of Middle Bronze period, is attributed to the first half of the  2nd millennium and is presented by small size kurgan type tombs.

The 5th layer of Tsikhiagora archaeological monument of the Early Bronze period is attributed to the 3rd millennium BC  and is presented by 5 construction horizons. 3 lower construction horizons are KuraAraxes archaeological culture former residences. The upper 2 horizons unite complexes which followed early Kurgan and Bedeni  cultures. This is a very rare case and is very important with the view of a problem of transition from Early Bronze to Middle Bronze epoch. Artifact remnants fixed in this layer include hand-made ceramic, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic statues, metal, stone and bone tools. The paper deals with the new X-ray Fluorescence study results   of metal artifacts and with the new radiocarbon dates of Tsikhiagora settlement. Stratigraphic data from the Tsikhiagora  settlement and new data allow us to assume the initial period of this cultural transformation in the first half of the 3rd millennium BC, which is important in the study of synchronization with other cultures and the genesis of the Bedeni culture.

Key words: Kura-Araxes; Bedeni; Tsikhiagora; Archaeological Culture; radiocarbon dating.

Author Biography

Zurab Makhardze, PhD. Head of Otar Lordkipanidze Institute of Archaeological Research of Georgian National Museum

Zurab Makharadze has been supervising Otar Lortkipanidze Archaeological Research Center of the National Museum of Georgia for years. He is leading his activity in archaeology since  1979. Participated in expeditions:: Kakheti, 1980-1983, Abkhazia  1983-1985, Kaspi 1986-1991, Trialeti 1991-1994; head of Kaspi region expedition 1995-2006; head of Ananauri (Lagodekhi) expedition-2012 . Participation in international expedition: Iran (Siston province) 2001-2002; Azerbaijan, participant of French Project 2006-2009; head of Georgian-Italian Project „Inner Kartli in Eneolith –Early Bronze Period”- 2009-2011; field supervisor of Kuwait-Georgia archaeological expedition on the island Fayalaka  2011-2013. He is the author of     2  monographs and up to 50 scientific articles.  From 1985 he supervises archaeological excavations of the layer of the Early Bronze Era of the monument Tsikhiagora to be studied within the frames of the present Project, and headed the research of this monument as a whole, in 1995-2002.