Dmanisi: where the first Europeans come from

Dmanisi: where the first Europeans come from

2 minutes to read

In the recent century, Georgian and foreign scientists have found ancient skulls of the first Europeans, and Georgia was named the birthplace of the first Europeans. Scientists have found several old human skulls in Dmanisi, which made this place an interesting archaeological site. In this article, I will tell you more about this town, where the first Europeans come from, located in the Kvemo Kartli region

Dmanisi Museum-Reserve
Dmanisi Museum-Reserve
------, 1700, Georgia

History

There was a small settlement in the 6th-8th centuries here, but it is mentioned as a town as from the 9th century. At that time, Dmanisi was ruled by Arabs, and only in 1123, our king David the Builder liberated the town from them. Dmanisi was gradually developing in the 12th-13th centuries. However, from the 16th century, it was completely destroyed, and the economic life was disrupted. There are ruins of fortresses, houses, streets and also the leftovers of ancient wine cellars. The archaeological studies and excavations started in 1936, and it continues until today. A footprint of the oldest human in Europe was discovered here. Also, the human skull that is 1,6 million years old was found here, while the hominid site is even 1.8 million years old. The earliest finding was a series of skulls that were discovered in Dmanisi in 2010. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/gregory_lee
Picture © Credits to iStock/gregory_lee

Archaeological excavations

The main excavations in Dmanisi were made until the 1960s. Under the medieval basements, archaeologists found the bones of animals, among which a Georgian paleologist identified the so-called Rhinos, that we no longer meet in nature. In 1984, they found the first stone tools, and later, archaeologists from Germany, USA, France, and Spain also joined this international research project. In 1999 and 2001, they found hominid bones of a head and a jaw. They named it Homo Georgicus. Nowadays, there are already five skulls found on the territory of the Dmanisi Region

Tourism potentials

Dmanisi becomes more and more interesting for tourists. There, you can visit Dmanisi Museum-Reserve that is located 85 km from Tbilisi. You have a great opportunity to see the remains of hominids and animals that were explored there. In addition, you can see stone tools that are approximately 1.8 million years old. The museum also includes the ruins of a medieval city, a fortress, and a church that exists from the 9th century. The ruins of Dmanisi town also includes secret tunnels and several religious buildings. From 2019, the rehabilitation works started to make the road to Dmanisi more accessible for tourists. They are also planning to build there several hotels that will make this place more popular and attractive. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/gregory_lee
Picture © Credits to iStock/gregory_lee

Apart from visiting Museum-Reserve and seeing all the explorations that I have mentioned above, Dmanisi is also interesting for its environment. Despite the fact that you can see only the ruins, you will still feel the aura of the place that was one of the strongest towns in the past, as it was located at the crossroads of the trade. So, all you need to do is to discover by yourself where the first Europeans come from. 

Cover Picture © Credits to iStock/Chyrva

The author

Anano Chikhradze

Anano Chikhradze

I am Anano. I Iove travelling, history and getting to know people from all over the world. I write about Georgia, my country, and I am sure everybody will fall in love with it.

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