Gonio – Apsaros

Gonio – Apsaros

  • Project name:

    Gonio–Apsaros Polish–Georgian Expedition /1

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  • Type of site:

    Roman (later Byzantine and Ottoman) fortress

    Location:

    Georgia
    Autonomous Republic of Adjara
    Ancient Colchis

    Dating:

    – Roman period (Roman fortress, early phase: second half of the 1st century–2nd century AD, late phase: end of the 3rd century AD)
    – Byzantine period (Byzantine fortress: 7th–8th century AD)
    – Turkish fortress: 17th–18th century AD

Most interesting finds:

– Baths from the very early phase of the Roman army’s presence in the region /2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7/;
– Mosaic decorating the floor of one of the rooms in the baths /8, 9, 10, 11/;
– Several stone architectural elements found in the structure of a furnace /12/ used for heating the baths and the neighboring hypocaust cellar, including a capital and two bases of columns; they were all reused so they must have come from an earlier building /13/.

History of research:

Dates of PCMA mission’s work:

2012–2016
(since 2016 the research is conducted without the participation of PCMA UW)

Type of research:

Excavations, geophysical research /14/

Directors:

Radosław Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw (2014– )
Shota Mamuladze (director of the Gonio–Apsarus Museum and Sanctuary)

Co-operating institutions:

– Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw
– Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw
– Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency of Ajara

Additional information:

Past research has been financed by the University of Warsaw from various sources: central funds, as well as funds of the Dean of the Faculty of History and the Director of the Institute of Archaeology. The cost was covered partly by the PCMA UW. Other sponsors included the University of Warsaw Foundation and the “Varia” Foundation of the Faculty of History, University of Warsaw. A non-financial contribution was made by the Rainbow Travel Agency and the “ARCHEOGATOS” Company.

Description of the site and research:

The site is considered to be the most important and most valuable protected monument in Ajara. The well-preserved defense walls draw particular attention. Thanks to their location near the largest Georgian resort – Batumi – and the main international road leading to Turkey, crowds of tourists from all over the world visit the Gonio–Apsaros Museum and the site of Polish–Georgian excavations.

Other resources about the mission:
Project bibliography:

Czapski M. and Kubrak O. (2016). Na wschodnich rubieżach Imperium Romanum: polsko–gruzińska ekspedycja archeologiczna w forcie Gonio–Apsaros w Gruzji. ArcheoUW 3, 56–66.
Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski R. (2016). Apsaros. Early headquarters building (principia). New localization?. Pro Georgia. Journal of Kartvelological Studies, 26, 53–63.
Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski R. and Kakhidze E. (2015). The Roman Fort “Apsaros” in Gonio – early phase. New discoveries and perspectives for investigations. Pro Georgia. Journal of Kartvelological Studies 25, 179–198.
Misiewicz K. and Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski R. (2013). Gonio (Georgia). Non-invasive surveys of the Roman fort of Apsaros – 2012 season. Światowit X (LI)/A (2012), 117–122.

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