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Mamai, Gelati Tondo silver, gilt silver , 11 th century by Pro Georgia. Early Headquarters Building principia. New localization? The Monastery of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Semdgomad mciredta dreta iwyo liqnit sityuad, arutqmida niwita da awuevda datevebasa qristes sjulisasa da miqcevad sarkinozad.
Kartlia, historyczna kraina w Gruzji Wschodniej, w IV w. Kachetia, prowincja wschodniej Gruzji. David Kolbaia. Pro Georgia, 22 , s.
Krol Wachtang Gorgasali. W r. Herakliusz , cesarz bizantyjski od r. Wyraz pochodzenie arabskiego. Emir arab. Aznaurowie, przedstawiciele klasy feudalnej, szlachta. Archil - wameba wmidisa da didebulisa mowamisa arcilisi, romeli iyo mefe qartlisa, also known as King Archil of Kartli, most likely comes from the 11thcentury.
The original version it was based on was probably written in the second half of the 8 th century. He also held a strong position with regard to his vassals in Abkhazia. King Archil s reign brought many positive changes, including the construction of many roads, bridges and strongholds. Archil also built many churches especially worthy of note is the one built in Kakheti and that in Hereti. During the period of Arab persecution, he was arrested, but he did not abandon his Christian faith, nor did he bend to the persuasion of his captors, resulting in his death as a martyr.
Nonetheless, recent research indicates that these texts were probably written in the 8th century. Some modern historians have also claimed that the biographies written by Juansher, contained in the Kartlis Tskhovraba Georgian Chornicles , were in fact written by Leonti Mroveli.
In addition, it is outstanding due to a higher degree of protection and also to the fact that Ishkhani is the only restored Geogian cathedral in the region. Sculptural reliefs are also very scarce with the exception of several animal images. Interestingly however, on the walls of Oshki catherdral, situated nearby, there is an abundance of both human and animal reliefs. Clearly, being logical, reliefs with human images had to have existed in Ishkhani as well.
Consequently, besides the builder s inscriptions, there might have existed reliefs with the builder s image as well as the reliefs depicting religious themes. Old pieces from the modern historical monuments in Artvin Ili are usully taken to the museum of Rize Sadly, in Artvin which includes historical Klarjeti and Shavsheti, as well as Tao, Lazeti and part of Achara, until now there is no specialised museum. According to the information we have, it is in this museum of Rize where the materials from small-scale archeological excavations in Ishkhani, are also stored.
Although we did expect to see exhibits yet unknown to the scholarly society, what we saw exceeded all the expectations. At the end of an open pavilion in the museum yard, among the stone exhibits, there was a tympanum stone with an extremely interesting relief. An explanatory inscription in Georgian made it absolutely clear that we had discovered an unknown Georgian sample.
After contacting the musuem staff, we learnt that the stone was from Iskhani. There is a narrow outer strip left plain whereas the remaining space is circled with an elaborated band, which either loops or entwines with similar bands of the decorative composition.
In the middle of the composition we can see St Mary with the infant. To the right to the left of St. Mary there is an image of the person, the builder of the building.
The background of the composition, unlike other parts of the tympanum, are definitely sunk. To the left there are two medalions circled by plaited bands with the images of a lion and a rabbit carved on them. Both, St. Mary and the infant are presented in full size. Jesus sits on St. Mary s lap with his right hand embracing his mother s neck, holding a scroll of paper in his left hand. Mary sits on three pillows and the background beneath her is decorated with drapery.
The builder, standing with his face to St Mary and the Saviour, holds a model with a big dove on it. On the top of the relief, almost in the centre of the composition, there is a right hand in the act of giving a blessing.
Sadly, there is hardly any inscription accompanying this original and greatly significant relief. Only above the head of St. Mary, on both sides, there is an explanatory inscription in Georgian capital letters: M o th er 1 According to the staff member the stone was brought to the museum about a year ago. It was also confirmed that the documentation regarding this new exhibit was also stored at the museum.
However, it turned out that we could not see the documentation without the prior permission from the Head institution in Trabzon As far as we know, here, in this museum, the burial inventory discovered during Ishkani archeological excavations are still kept.
However, this documentation was not available for our inspection either. The dove is certainly in the image of the Holy Spirit. Unfortumately, there is no explanatory inscription visible on the image of the builder. Despite having being well-protected, the tympanum was still damaged. However, the most saddening fact is some deliberately incurred damage: the faces of St.
Mary, the infant and the builder were chiselled out. As well as this, both the builder s left hand and the Saviour s hand in which he holds the roll of paper are chipped. Near the builder s image the stone is cracked horizontally into two pieces.
The sizes of the tympanum are as follows: length13 cm. Style and Peculiarities It was clear at first sight that we had the honour to discover a relief quite unusual for Georgian arts. An unusually deep cut for Georgian masonry, elaborate drapery of clothes, naturalism in depicting human images, more details not usually typical of Geogian art and other nontraditional elements inviting associations to Bysantine and even Western European Arts. It is apparent that the images, partly in certain places and more completely in other places are raised up from the background.
However, all in all, such occurrences are not typical and this newly discovered relief is rare in this respect as well. Human images in relief are extremely elaborate. The clothes are draped, the builder s dense and wavy hair is emphasised. Presumably, the faces would not be schematic either. This is indicated by various details, besides the common style: the right side of the builder s beard and meticulously curled right side of the moustache; the portion of the Saviour s hair, supposedly, wavy; the contours of the cross carved in Infant Jesus halo, presented in a couple of lines.
The most elaborated part of the relief is that of St. Mary and the child. It is also very rare for Georgian arts to seat St Mary on a couch 3 It is difficult to say whether they changed their mind or postponed the carving of the inscription. Mary s right and the Saviour s left hand is very destructive. This happened at the left hand of the Builder where the hand itself is chipped off. In all three cases the tendency towards rounded sculptures is obvious.
Mary, especially with such strong emphasis on it. The Initial State of the Tympanum One of the interesting issues is: which entrance was decorated by this unique tympanum and what model does the builder hold?
In Ishkhani did not witness large-scale archeological excavations and the works were carried out mostly for restoration purposes. Consequently, there is a layer of soil in the interior mostly in the western arm and a narrow strip at the bottom of the facades. In order to answer all the interesting questions, it is necessary to know the exact location and circumstances into which the tympanum was discovered.
Unfortunately, the reports of the archeological excavations and relevant documentation are not yet available. Consequently, we do not possess any official information either regarding the place, the position of the relief, situational photos. According to the oral information, the tympanum was discovered while digging the drainage channel to the southwest of the small Gurgen Church. The stone was detached and no trace of any ruins in the vicinity was visible.
In order not to rely on the unofficial information heavily, let us follow the flow of the logic. As the tympanum does not carry any visible trace of being used as a secondary stone, it can be supposed that it definitely had spent some time under the soil or floor tiles, supposedly, after the damage incurred at the initial destination.
The tympanum must have been a part of the exterior, thus, it would be more likely for it to have been discovered outside. This cathedral is decorated with a well-known tympanum and it did not possess any other door either from the past and or at present. As for the main cathedral, the place where the tympanum must have been is not visible. Therefore, we can propose that this tympanum decorated either part of Ishkani Cathedral itself or some other part of the complex which no longer exits.
Mary or the infant sit either on the throne, or on a throne with one pillow. In this relief three pillows are carved. Below the pillows, to the right, there are two rounded ends which present the end of a low and long sofa and not two other pillows. When observing the model held by the builder more closely, the unusually lengthened shape catches the eye, which must have been intentional for the relief is known for its naturalism and attention to detail.
This shape might have been typical of an architectural addition, such as a porch or an oratory and not of a detached building a single-nave hall church what is more, except for the Gurgen church, such a building has not been yet been found. The main cathedral of Ishkhani must have had oratories to the south and west, which were later pulled down presumably, after islamisation of the cathedral. The latest archeological works have uncovered their foundations and discovered burial places.
It is also quite possible for the tympanum in question to be used as decoration for one of such oratories. However, if we take into consideration the small sizes of such oratories and their modest place in the whole architectural complex, as well as the richness of the relief and its memoriability, then it is not easy to argue that tympana of this type were made only for small size oratories.
PRO GEORGIA JOURNAL OF KARTVELOLOGICAL STUDIES N o