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Archaeology - referring to past is oriented on future

By Salome Modebadze
Monday, November 22
The Georgian National Museum (GNM) presented the Dzalisa Archeological Site Rehabilitation Project on November 19. Talking of Dzalisa as one of the most important examples of cultural heritage for future generations, Davit Lortkipanidze General Director of the GNM thanked BP in Georgia, its partners and TBC Bank for their financial support, Italian experts for active consultations and Art Ubani for the implementation of the project.

Excavations at Dzalisa, according to Lortkipanidze were launched under Professor Alexander Bokhochadze’s leadership in 1970s. Thus the new generations have to develop their new looks through the scientific projects. It will take the joint team of Georgian and Italian analysts and students to find the way to clean the faded mosaics and restore all of its 12 colours. “The unique archaeological site has the remains of a Roman villa dating back to the II-IV centuries A.D. A mosaic of Dionysus – the Greek god of wine and his wife Ariadne, highlights the ancient culture of winemaking in Georgia,” BP Cultural Heritage Adviser Nino Erkomaishvili told The Messenger adding that the project which began this year will be completed by 2011.

Annalisa Zarattini representative of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage of Italy stressed that the team working on the site would do everything to preserve the place. “It is extremely extraordinary to find examples of ancient remains of the Roman Empire in Georgia. The preservation of this incredible place is extremely valuable for us - people coming from Rome. Not everything is known about the history of Georgia in other parts of the world as a result of language difficulties, thus it’s very important to work on this universal project together,” Zarattini told The Messenger.

The cultural heritage site of worldwide importance has amazing samples of mosaic and should be appreciated by people – the aristocratic site with only 1/4th excavated area needs further study. The conservation-preservation project will make the Dzalisa site a tourist attraction. Full of working plans, Dzalisa is still waiting for sponsors to help it become one a favourite tourist destinations with its renovated mosaic, gardens, conference halls, souvenir shops and playgrounds for children. People living around the site have been actively engaged in the renovation process.