2020 September-October season; Dmanisi Medieval Site Excavations Project in Georgia

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: ------, 1700, Georgia

Season: September 13, 2020 to October 25, 2020

Application Deadline: August 31, 2020

Deadline Type: Rolling

Program Type:
Field School, Volunteer

RPA Certified:

Georgian National Museum

Project Director:
Giorgi Kopaliani, Jimsher Chkhvimiani - Georgian National Museum

Project Description:

Dmanisi is the site of a medieval town located about 85 km southwest of Tbilisi on a promontory at the confluence of the Mashavera and Phinezauri rivers.  Archaeological exploration of the ruins began in the 1930s, but systematic excavations were not undertaken until the 1980s. The town of Dmanisi is first mentioned in the 9th century as a possession of the Arab Emirates of Tbilisi, though the area had been settled since the Early Bronze Age. An Orthodox Christian cathedral – “Dmanisi Sioni” – was built there in the 11th century. Located on the confluence of trading routes and cultural influences, Dmanisi was of particular importance, growing into a major commercial center of medieval Georgia. The town was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the 1080s, but was later liberated by the Georgian kings David the Builder and between 1123 and 1125. The Turco-Mongol armies under Tamerlane laid waste to the town in the 14th century. Sacked again by the Turkomans in 1486, Dmanisi never recovered and declined to a scarcely inhabited village by the 18th century. The castle was controlled by the House of Orbeliani.

Dmanisi site is mostly famous by its discoveries of earliest (1.8 million years) hominin (H. erectus) remains out of Africa. There is also Late Bronze-Early Iron Age occupation at the site.

People 18 and older in healthy physical condition can join the dig and do not need experience, just an open mind and sharp eyes. Just get in your spot and start looking for artifacts. Archaeological material found to date includes ceramics, bones, glass, coins and more.
Dmanisi team will explain everything you need to know, including:
• Methods of excavation.
• Use and handling of the tools that are used during the excavations.
• Recording the data obtained during the excavation.
• Use of Total Mapping Station.
• Study and typological classification of archaeological objects: ceramics, faunal remains, metals and etc.
• Lab works including: Restoration and drawing artifacts.
Participants will also attend lectures about the history and prehistory of the site, basics of archaeology.


7 days – 700$ – 7 day experience; 5 days digging, 6 nights at the camp house.
• 10 days – 900$ – 10 day experience; 7 days digging, 9 nights at the camp house.
• 14 days – 1200$ – 14 day experience; 11 days digging, 13 nights at the camp house.
• 21 days – 1900$ – 21 day experience; 17 days digging, 20 nights at the camp house.
• 28 days – 2100$ – 28 day experience; 23 days digging, 27 night at the camp house.

Period(s) of Occupation: Middle Ages, Medieval

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 7 days

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: None

Room and Board Arrangements:
The cost includes: • Transportation from Tbilisi to Dmanisi and back. • Accommodation at the camp house (3-5 person per room). • Accommodation facilities include Wifi, flushing toilets, showers and a washing machine. • Breakfast, lunch break at the site, dinner and evening tea/coffee (including alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages). Meals will be prepared by local cooks using the best quality local natural products. Please communicate with the organizers if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies. • Daily transportation to/from the archaeological site. • Excursion(s) in the region with lunch in the local restaurant(s) with amazing Georgian food and wine. • Goodbye party. • Certificate of participation.

Contact Information:

Giorgi Kopaliani

3 Purtseladze Street




Phone: +995 595 14 51 86 Tel, WatsApp, Viber

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