Center for Exploration of Georgian Antiquities

The Center for Exploration of Georgian Antiquities

at St. Andrew the First Called Georgian University of the Patriarchate of Georgia

 

Short History

The Center for Exploration of Georgian Antiquities was founded in 1997. The center has united professionals of cross-related fields from the National Center of Manuscripts, the Institute of Art History, the National Museum of Georgia, etc. Accordingly the Center has gathered archaeographists, epigraphists, art historians and orientalists in order to carry out exploration, indexing and complex research of Georgian antiquities in Georgia and out of its borders.

At first the Center for Exploration of Georgian Antiquities was established as a non-governmental, non-profit organization. In 2009, with the blessing of the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II, the Center for Exploration of Georgian Antiquities joined St. Andrew the First Called Georgian University and was organizationally redefined as a scientific-research unit of the University.

Aims of the Center

The center aims to research the history of Georgian Christian Culture and support its popularization, to establish international scholarly relationships and contacts and support mastering professionals in different directions of cultural heritage preservation.

Objectives of the Center

  • investigation, study and recording of monuments of the Georgian culture located both in Georgia and outside of its borders;
  • Creating a database of the obtained information;
  • Displaying and publishing forgotten or unpublished material;
  • Carrying out works for saving the monuments facing the danger of destruction;
  • Organizing seminars and inviting foreign expert for supporting professional development and qualification improvement of the staff working at the cultural heritage institutions of Georgia (museums, restoration institutions etc);
  • Promotion and popularization of Georgian culture in Georgia and abroad

The Center works in five main directions:

  1. scholarly  research work;
  2. exploration of Georgian monuments outside of Georgia, studying and documenting them according to the requirements of modern standards;
  3. information-archival (creation of electronic databases of  monuments of  Georgian cultural heritage);
  4. educational (organizing public  lectures and seminars about the results of the Center’s research works and material discovered during the scholarly expeditions, inviting foreign scholars and organizing their lecture, etc.)
  5. Popularization of Georgian culture (organizing exhibitions, conferences and preparing publications and information booklets on Georgian cultural heritage, etc.). 

The structure of the Center and the Staff

Director – Dr. of the Philological Sciences (Full-time)

Scientific Staff

  • Dr. of History Mzia Surguladze (Part-time)
  • Dr. of Philology Lela Khoperia (Full-time)
  • Dr. of Philology Tina Tseradze (Full-time)
  • Dr. of Art and Art History Mzia Janjalia (Part-time)
  • Dr. of Philology Tamar Mosiashvili (Full-time)
  • Dr. of History Irma Berdzenishvili (Part-time)

Partners of the Center

  • Organization of Support for Georgian Monuments Exploration in Israel (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Head – Prof. Zeev Rubin);
  • The Group for Georgian Culture Research and Its Popularization in Great Britain (Great Britain, the Head – Prof. Robert Thompson);
  • Antioch Center at the University of Oxford (Great Britain, the Head – Prof. Sebastian Brock);
  • St. Catherine Foundation of Prince Charles (Great Britain, the member of the Board of Trustees  - Dr. Eugenie Richardson);
  • Bibliothèque du Caucase (France, the Head  - Prof. Bernard Outtier);
  •  Berliner Georgische Gesellschaft (Germany, the Head – Dr. Brigita Schrade);
  • Centre for Early Christian Studies (Australia, the Head - Pauline Allen);
  • University of Warsaw Caucasus Research Center (Poland, the Head – Dr. Henryk Paprocki);
  • Publishing House Banett and Bloom (Great Britain, the Head – Nick Awde)

The Center has accomplished the following works:

Scientific expeditions:

1997-2008 The Center organized 12 expeditions on the Holy Land (Israel, Palestine, Jordan). The results of the expeditions were the following discoveries:

  • XV-XVI centuries unknown Georgian illustrated manuscript – “Okros Otkhtavi” (Golden Gospel) (adorned with 48 illustrations);
  • V century unknown Georgian monastery near Jerusalem;
  • 50 unknown Georgian inscriptions;
  • Georgian church embroideries and liturgical objects;
  • The lost fragments of the wall paintings from the Holy Cross Monastery in Jerusalem  were found and returned to Georgia (4 frescos and 1 icon);
  • Sheehan Monastery  (Jordan);
  • The decease place of Peter the Iberian was discovered in Iamnia (Israel).

Scientific Conferences:

  • In 1998 with the patronage of the Patriarch of Georgia the Center organized an International Conference:

“The beginnings of the Monastic Life in the West and in the East” (Tabakhmela), 45 scholars from 10 countries participated in the conference.

Publications:

  • The collection: Ancient Christianity in the Caucasus, Iberica-Caucasica, T. Mgaloblishvili (ed.), vol. 1, London, 1998.
  • The books: “Mtskheta” and “Tbilisi” (Series: “Old Cities of Georgia”), 200-2002.
  • The Collection of Report from the Georgian Scholars Expeditions on the Holy Land, 2003, Academy, vol.5 (a)
  • Easter Guide for Jerusalem, 2007

Exhibitions:

  • Photo Exhibition “Cultural Heritage of Georgia” (2002, Jerusalem);
  • Photo Exhibition “Georgians on the Holy Land” (2003, Tbilisi);
  • Photo Exhibition “120 Days on the Holy Land” (2004, Tbilisi);
  • Georgia – the Country of the Ancient Script” an exhibition dedicated to the visit of George Bush – the president of USA to Georgia (2005, Tbilisi).

2009-2010: Activities carried out by the Center in St. Andrew the First Called Georgian University

Monographs / Collections of articles:

  • Four volumes: The Acts of Iviron Monastery, Diplomatic Edition, Editor and Publisher T. Mgaloblishvili (French translation by Ts. Bibileishvili), Vol. I-IV, Tbilisi, 2008
  • Collection of scholarly articles: Maximus the Confessor and Georgia, Iberica Caucasica, vol. 3, T. Mgaloblishvili and L. Khoperia (eds.), Bennet&Bloom, London (UK).
  • Description of Georgian Ecclesiastical Manuscripts of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St Petersburg), T. Tseradze and L. Khoperia (eds.), Tbilisi, 2010 (National Project in collaboration  with National Center of Manuscripts and the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of St Petersburg), (Ready for publication).

Presentations / Conferences / Exhibitions:

  • International patristic conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of St Martyr Priest Archimandrite Grigol Peradze, St Andrew the First Called Georgian University of Georgian Patriarchate, 12th -16th of September, 2009. (Co-organizer the Society of Grigol Peradze);
  •  “Georgian Antiquities on the Holy Land” –presentation for the representatives of the Diplomatic Corpus in Georgia, 15th of October, 2009;
  • Presentation of the Book: Maximus the Confessor and Georgia, Iberica Caucasica, vol. 3,  T. Mgaloblishvili and L. Khoperia (eds.), ( Bennet&Bloom, London, 2009.), St Andrew the First Called Georgian University of Georgian Patriarchate, 18th of March, 2010;
  • Conference and Exhibition: Georgian Jews: History and Culture, Tbilisi, 28th of June – 7th of July, 2010. (Organizer – Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Co-organizer: the Center for Exploration of Georgian Antiquities at St Andrew the First Called Georgian University of Georgian Patriarchate. The main speaker – T. Mgaloblishvili).

Educational Direction

  • The Center for Exploration of Georgian Antiquities invited Dr. Steven Rapp – professor at Georgia State University, Atlanta (USA) who gave lectures on Georgia-Iran and Georgia-Armenia relations in V-VIII centuries for the students of the Humanities at St Andrew the First Called Georgian University, 2009.  
  • The Center for Exploration of Georgian Antiquities invited Dr. Constantine Lerner – professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who gave a public lecture on “Moktsevai Kartlisai” (“The Conversion of Kartli”) and Hebrew Sources, 2009.
  • The Center organized seminars for student of the Humanities. The subject of the seminars was particular aspects from the History of Georgia and the History of Georgian Culture.
  • During the first half of 2010 the Center organized two public lectures:
  1. Mgaloblishvili: Peter the Iberian – the beginnings of the Georgian Monastic Life on the Holy Land (May, 2010);

Mz. Surguladze: The Georgian Middle Ages: Spiritual and Material Life (June, 2010).

 

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