History of Samtskhe Javakheti

Samtskhe-Javakheti is one of the oldest and most historical parts of Georgia. In fact, it was part of historical Meskheti which comprised Samtskhe, Javakheti and historical Tori territories. Today these territories together along with other provinces represent current regions of Georgia, or areas which do not belong to modern Georgia anymore. That is why, the culture presented here is usually referred to as Meskhetian culture.

Archaeological discoveries, old settlements, ruins of castles and fortresses, and elements of Megalithic civilization indicate that Samtskhe-Javakheti was settled during the Bronze Age or earlier. Moreover, Diauehi (Diauhi or Diaokhi) was one of the first tribal coalitions of possible proto-Georgians who resided in the territory of historical Meskheti. They had an enormous role in the creation of modern Georgia.

Samtskhe-Javakheti was one of the most well-developed parts of Georgia politically, economically, and culturally. Architectural monuments, carvings in the rocky mountains, cave city complexes and systems of castles and fortresses are good indications of this rich history. Historical Meskheti was considered a cradle of education and culture. A famous Georgian poem says about the early civilization, “Meskhetians – praised to be well-educated”.

The location of the region played an important role for its future development. However, it also had a negative impact because Georgian adversaries always sought the region for themselves. For centuries it was occupied by different enemies of the country. The region managed to preserve its traditions while diversifying its everyday life. Which is why it is considered to be one of the most multicultural, multi-ethic and multi-religious parts of Georgia.

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