Nakalakevi, Georgia

I visited the ruins at Nakalakevi (Nokakalevi, ნოქალაქევი) in Georgia for only a brief time. You can read a history of the city here. Some interesting notes about the city:

1200 BC: Jason and the Argonauts’ mythical journey to Colchis to retrieve the Golden Fleece

Beginning 1st BC to end of 3rd AD Sparse evidence for occupation by the Roman Empire, unconfined to a specific stratigraphical event. A piece of Sinopian pottery has been found and some coins marked with Constantine I who ruled 306 – 337 AD.

Beginning of 4th to end of 6th Renovation and additional construction of Archaeopolis to include bath houses, water cisterns, kilns for workshops and churches. Archaeopolis is the stage for the battle between the Persians, led by Mermeroes and the Byzantines, led by Odonachus and Babas in 551 AD, during the war of 540-562. Coins found on second level marked with Flavius Mauricius Tiberius who ruled 582 – 602 AD. Human, possibly Christian burials found in the lower town near the 7 Martyrs Church.

17th – 19th Site occupied by a branch of the princely Dadiani family, who repaired/rebuilt some of the standing remains and conducted small scale amateur archaeology.

10th – 11th Period indicated by glazed green pottery. 40 Martyrs Church reconstructed. Mid 8th Nokalakevi destroyed by the invading Arab general Murvan Ibn-Muhammad (later caliph).

Beginning of 8th The Byzantines besiege Archaeopolis unsuccessfully, attempting to recover Lazika from the Arabs; coincides with the first iconoclastic period.

I was told that Irish archaeologists are involved, and come back every Spring to continue their work. I took some photos, but as it was close to dusk, the quality is not great. Here is a satellite photo.

The Eastern entrance:

The wall, with some archaeological work beside it:


The River Tekhuri, looking south:


You really do wonder what might be under all those trees. The ruins look untouched.


The city had easy access to the river via this tunnel, which remains intact. Pretty long tunnel too.