Ruins of a previously unknown medieval monastery have been discovered in Georgia’s south during routine geological studies, with the monument now set to be studied by experts.
The monument historians suppose to date back to the 8th-9th centuries was once a small church built with stones formed from shattered rock formations, and is located on a hilltop in the Kvemo Kartli province.
Measuring 8,4m by 5m, the monastery was an unexpected finding made by professionals of an industrial mining company three kilometres from the 13th century Pitareti Monastery in the Tetritskaro Municipality, south-west of capital Tbilisi.
A view of the remains of the newly discovered church. Photo: Georgia’s Cultural Heritage Agency press office.
The National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia said specialists of Rich Metals Group were carrying out geological works in a local forest when they stumbled upon the site.
The agency also noted neither local residents nor historical sources indicated any knowledge of the monument, making it a new addition to historical sites known to the state organisation.
A decorative element on a wall of the Medieval site. Photo: Georgia’s Cultural Heritage Agency press office.
The highly fragmented ruins of the site feature ornaments and sculpted elements on its facade, with what is supposed to be gravestones also discovered within its confines.
Scribbles on walls of the Medieval church were left by pilgrims in various time periods, the agency said in its release.
Experts in archaeology and art history will study the monument and its surroundings before the cultural heritage body develops plans for its conservation.