Dzalisa is one of the most important archeological monuments in the historic kingdom of Kartli (Iberia) and though it is mostly ruins, it makes a nice place to wander around if you're a history buff or if you happen to be in the area.
Archeological excavations were carried out in 1971-1990 on the ruins of an ancient city in what is today the village of Dzalisa, in the Mukhrani Valley, 20 km southwest of Mtskheta.
The complex includes a citadel, archeological layers from different time periods, and the ruins of early monuments. Intersecting streets and squares show urban planning and were paved using brick tiles were discovered among the ruins of the city; public buildings, houses, and temples buildings were decorated with mosaic. The city also had an advanced plumbing system, with some pipes to supply water in the bath-houses and others to carry away sewage.
One sophisticated multi-room architectural complex covers 2500 square meters. The ruins of the building, 1.5 meters underground, were excavated in 1984-1985. It is the largest castle-type building to have been found in Georgia so far. This immense building even included a yard- atrium with fountain.
The well-preserved central heating system (including hypocausts, or under-floor heating) was a significant discovery, as it provides evidence for archaeologists' speculations about high standards of living and construction quality at the time. The castle also had a 800 square meter swimming pool.
A beautiful floor mosaic found in Dzalisa's Roman-type bathrooms, excavated in 1972, provides evidence of the development of provincial life in the ancient Iberian Kingdom. This type of mosaic can also be found in Bichvinta Basilica (Abkhazia, Western Georgia) and the village of Shukhuti (Guria, Western Georgia), which features in Roman bathrooms between 200-600 CE.
The earliest material found in the ruins of the city dates back to approximately 200 BCE while the major buildings are dated to 100-400 CE.
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Main photo source: cbw.ge