Ancient Urbnisi (Region of Shida Kartli )

Ancient Urbnisi (Georg. ურბნისის ნამოსახლარი)– extinct city of Georgia, once located on the right bank of the Kura River, on the so-called Khizanaant-Gora  Mountain. From the 2nd century BC  – the city, the second most important in Iberia after Mtskheta. In the Georgian chronicles it is mentioned as a significant fortified center of the eastern Georgian kingdom of Kartli (Iberia), which in ancient times became a city as a result of the unification of several settlements: Urbnisi proper, Ruisi, Khizanaant-Gora, Kvatsela, etc., where settlements existed since the Eneolithic era … As a result of recent archaeological excavations, the remains of structures of the same type as in Mtskheta have been revealed, dating back to about the 4th century. BC .

The city was surrounded by a wall and well developed. In 500, a basilica was built there. This is the only thing that is now left of Urbnisi. In 736, the Arabs razed Urbnisi to the ground. Systematic excavations have been conducted since 1953. Monuments from the Eneolithic to the late Middle Ages have been discovered. Among them: the remains of powerful walls with towers made of adobe bricks and the surrounding moat, as well as an ancient canal, quarters of ancient and early feudal times, necropolises. A rich and varied archaeological material was obtained, which characterizes the high level of local handicrafts and broad economic ties with the cities of Georgia and other regions of the Caucasus, as well as with other countries.


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