A story about medieval energy efficient towers from Shatili, Georgia published in the National Geographic Magazine Georgia has been picked as the Best Edit of January 2018 by the magazine’s Head Quarters in Washington DC.
The article by Georgian historian and journalist Toma Chagelishvili describes the architecture of the towers in the historic highland village of Shatili and explains how old Georgians managed to keep their homes warm.
According to the story, the walls of the old towers were made of stone and were as thick as one metre to ensure that warmth stayed inside. Moreover, walls of neighbouring towers rested closely against each other for additional energy efficiency. Windows were very small and that also contributed to the accumulation of warmth inside the tower.
Shatili towers. Photo by Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
The National Geographic Magazine is currently published in 38 languages around the world. Natia Khuluzauri, editor-in-chief of the National Geographic Magazine Georgia told Agenda.ge that the editorial team at the Washington headquarters picks the best edit from all the international editions every month.
"One of the reasons for the story to be successful and chosen as Best Edit is that it concerns to energy efficiency – the topic that is very actual today. The American editor said that the story shows that what's old is new again”, Khuluzauri said.
Apart from the unique textual content, the entry is also interesting because of its original visual appearance. Georgian illustrator Levan Kvaratskhelia created illustrations specifically for this story.
The illustration shows architectural incision of the Shatili tower to demonstrate how internal space was organized to ensure maximal energy efficiency.
Georgian illustrator Levan Kvaratskhelia created illustrations specifically for this story. Image courtesy: National Geographic Magazine Georgia / Levan Kvaratskhelia.
Chagelishvili, the author of the article, said that the National Geographic Magazine Georgia will publish several articles covering energy efficiency in traditional Georgian architecture during the current year. He is going to offer a TV documentary series as well about the topic.
The National Geographic Magazine Georgia has been published since 2012. Among the Best Edits from the Georgian edition should be noted the story about the Bronze Age Thieves published in June 2016 and Photo Journal showcasing works of the well-known American photographer Edward S. Curtis published in October 2017.
Once a story is selected as the best edit, the other 38 editions of the magazine are advised to re-publish them in their own editions. During different times Best Edits of the Georgian edition has been published by German, Spanish, Nordic, and Italian editions.