43 Pitchers Discovered in a Medieval Wine Cellar in Georgia

More than 40 clay pots dated back to the 11th-13th centuries were discovered in the mountainous Khulo district of Adjara region, on the Black Sea coast of Georgia.

Archaeological excavations in Khikhani Fortress, at 2, 635 meters above sea level, have revealed 43 pitchers in one wine cellar dated back to the medieval period.

Archeologists, historians, restorers and architects have been conducting restoration works nearby the area of the Khikhani Fortress for nearly three years.

The expedition has already studied Abuseridze’s palace, Saint Giorgi Church and the pitchers. Archeologists have discovered a wine cellar containing 28 pitchers.

““We have been working here for 2 years now; we have explored some very significant buildings. Last year we discovered a cellar that contained 28 clay pots. Now we have discovered another, with 43. Supposedly, this is not a classic cellar and it was most likely constructed differently than those we’ve seen before,” the head of the Khikhani Fortress archaeological expedition David Mindorashvili said.

According to him, the pots will be preserved and reconstruction work at the castle will continue.

The Khikhani Fortress which dates to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is located on the left bank of the River Chorokhi south of Batumi and just 4 kilometers from the border with Turkey.  

The fortress was built by Georgian Duke of Dukes Tbel Abuseridze on a one hectare plot of land and is decorated with four towers. The walls contain watch holes. The fortress also has the remains of some buildings including a bakery, wine cellar and church.

Archaeological excavations in the 1960s revealed the remains of a Roman bathhouse, a 1st century AD water supply system, roads and pavements and also amphorae, red gloss ceramics and coins.

The new wave of the excavation work in Khikhani Fortress is held under a 5 years project of the Adjara Cultural Heritage Agency.

According to the head of the Agency, Khikani Fortress is a monument of international importance and it is being restored to international standards.

Tamar Svanidze

17 August 2015 11:16