• DAVID AKHLOURI Doctor of History, Associate Professor of Gori State University, Gori, Chavchavadze st., №53, 1400, Georgia


The article talks about the devastated villages in the Zhamuri valley”. Zhamuri valley begins at the shores of lake “keli”, where the Ksani river originates and extends through the territory up to karchokhi valley. While researching the issue, we initially concentrate on the 10th century book of Sargo Samtavneli. This variant is written in “Nuskhuri” and is found in the collection of church documents curated by the renowned scholar S. Kakabadze, included in his historical collection. Zhamuri is directly mentioned in the sources, indicating that traces of the Georgian population can be found here from the very beginning. Remarkable information about the Zhamuri valley is found in “Aghtsera”, a work by the famous Georgian historian and geographer Vakhushti Batonishvii , from XVIII century. In his notes, he mentions that Georgian peasants used to inhabit this area. Later, they moved to the dale and Ossetians from the North Caucasus replaced them here. The historical fact, that, right Georgians were the people who inhabited the territory of Zhamuri before their arrival, is not only confirmed by the X century book of Sargo Samtavneli , which has been previously mentioned, but is also substantiated by other sources, worth noting is the XV century book of Samtavneli, specifically its worshipper's drama and introduction, where Zhamuri is also referenced. The opinion of I. Gagoshidze is noteworthy, while discussing the IV-III centuries BC, he emphasizes the toponymic coincidence between Bagini of Zhamuri valley and Bagineti of Mtskheta and indicates, that during this period the population moved from Ksani valley to the dale. To study the past of Zhamuri valley, it is crucial to analyze the architectural monuments here, as Vakhushti Batonishvili notes, there are many tall and wellbuilt towers in the valley, with Bertsikhe standing out. Researchers date the back tower of the castle-complex to the Middle Ages and the cylindrical tower at the southern end to the XVIII century. The church without an Aspe standing between the towers is considered to be the oldest. Among the fortification buildings of Zhamuri valley, the Alaverdi castlecomplex is also noteworthy and Parmen Zaqaria searches for its analogue in monuments from the IX to X centuries. Apart from Bertsikhi and Alaverdi there are several stand-alone watchtowers in Zhamuri valley, including Bagin, which according to general data, dates from the end of the XVI to XVII centuries. The work explains the names of Zhamuri and explores the existing architectural monuments, illustrating the religious existence of the valley's inhabitants. The main part of the research is devoted to the demographic situation, here the period of settlement and life of the Ossetian population, both the lists of the XVIII century and the IX-XX centuries are reviewed. Most of which are published for the first time, according to Russian chamber censuses of the IX century , we can conclude that there were 18 villages in Zhamuri by the end of the XIX century : Babuaantkari(1 household), Valag Bagini (16 household) Middle, below Bagini (11 households), Gorga (3 households), Gurtsiaantkari (10 households) Jaantkari (Jiantkari) (3 households), Dzotsiaantkari (5 households), Kapikavi( 3 households) Kora (12 households) , Kurdikomi (1 household), naviskhevi (4 households) , Fagiantkari (5 households), Sago (5 households), Sigda (1 household), Togoiantkari (4 households) , Farniantkari (1 household), Tsinasofeli (3 households) , Chigoiantkari , Dalakau (13 households) , here used to live : Biganashvilebi, Bitarashvilebi , Gurchishvilebi, (Gurtsishvilebi), Gabloshvilebi, Jebisashvilebi, Medoshvilebi, Togoshvilebi, Farnishvilebi, Fagishvilebi, Choghoshvilebi, Goloshvilebi… they were orthodox Christians. The lands and serfs in Zhamuri, belonged to the nobility of Ksani. The last villages, where the population still lived until the 1980s of the XX century. At the time of the 1989 census, no one lived in the Zhamuri valley.

Keywords: Zhamuri valley; Samtavneli Sargo; Demographic lists; nobles of Ksani; servant-peasants; devastated villages; castle-complex.