Fresh discovery shows life at 17th century Georgian monastery

Archaeologists unearthed the pottery at the St David Lavra this week. Photo: Nodar Bakhtadze., 22 Sep 2017 - 16:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

Fresh discovery from the late medieval era has given archaeologists a glimpse of life at the St David Lavra monument in the David Gareji cave monastery complex in Georgia's south-east.

Well-preserved items of pottery were unearthed at the lavra - a family of residential and homesteading buildings serving Orthodox Christian hermits - this week.

The finding was made by a group of archaeologists from the Georgian National Museum, who came across the pieces during works in preparation of rehabilitation efforts at the monument.

Dated back to the late Medieval era the items were attributed to the hermits using the dining facility at the site. Photo: Nodar Bakhtadze.

The Medieval pottery, made of copper, was described as "unique" and dated back to the early 17th century by experts who reported on the finding. The group also unearthed chandeliers dating to the same period.

Historians believe the items were used by religious servants at the dining facility of the lavra and was hidden from the Iranian invaders of the era during one of their conquests.

The lavra brings together a family of buildings dating from the 6th to 18th century, including dining facilities, a stable and storage areas.

The St David Lavra is found within the David Gareji cave complex in south-eastern Georgia. Photo: Lidia Ilona.

Cave compartments and a section cut in stone for gathering rain water are also found within the site.

Located near Georgia's south-eastern border with Azerbaijan, the St David Lavra and the overall David Gareji complex represent some of the most popular tourist destinations and a major site for the Orthodox Christian history in Georgia.

They were established in the 6th century by David of Gareji, one of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers - missionaries who arrived in Georgia from Mesopotamia to advance Christianity in the country.