Money Talks: Recently Discovered Hoard of the 12th-13th centuries from Samshvilde Medieval Site

Join Professor David Berikashvili from the Department of Archaeology, Anthropology, and Art at the University of Georgia, Tbilisi, for a review of a recently excavated medieval hoard from Samshvilde, a settlement in Georgia in the South Caucasus. Samshvilde, Georgia occupies a strategic and impregnable location on a basalt promontory, flanked by the gorges of the Khrami and Chivchava rivers. This distinctive landscape position, combined with environmental conditions that include a mild climate and an abundance of natural resources, have attracted human occupation for millennia. The urban complex dates mainly to the medieval period, under Armenian and then Georgian control, when it became the region’s main fortress and political-economic center. Proximity to the northern branch of the Silk Road further increased the site’s importance. Despite the Samshvilde’s importance and longevity, until recently there has been little concerted archaeological study of the site. In 2018-2019, a team of archaeologists from the University of Georgia, Tbilisi, unearthed a coin hoard of the 12th-13th centuries that combined the coins of four representatives of the Georgian Royal Family. This Money Talks lecture will review this hoard that was discovered in one of the ruined cellars of the Medieval palace inside the citadel, the main stronghold of the city. This unique hoard of medieval coins, along with the archaeological finds attributed in the same context is a valuable resource for better understanding the main economic, cultural and political relationships between South Caucasus region and the Medieval world at large.