Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: Rusudan Kutateladze

14 Global Processes and Georgian Economic Policy

Authors: Anzor Abralava, Ketevan Kokrashvili, Rusudan Kutateladze, Nino Pailodze, Ketevan Kutateladze, Giorgi Sulashvili


Nowadays when the integration of states is growing fast, it is urgent to study the rules of behavior which they resort to in case of conflicts and disagreements. The reason of disagreement in many ways is the Foreign policy carried out by separate countries, as the market participants define production and export capacity and structure as well as level of international division of labor due to the competition among them. We can say over and over again that outbreak of conflicts in Georgia displays the serious controversy between political and economic powerhouses. However, to tell the truth existence of the unsolved conflicts in Georgia is the result of weakness and inadequacy of Georgian politics. Today the main task of political quarters in Georgia should be a direction to Caucasus, as to the region burdened with the most complicated problems which blockade the settlement of conflicts and farther development of our country (or vice versa). In this situation rehabilitation of our authority, leading role and hegemony; expansion and consolidation of peacekeeping and other missions are considered as the exact activities for accomplishing all Georgian economic and political goals.

Keywords: Awara Group, political centers, administrative services, dynamic process

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13 Problems of the Management of Legal Entities of Private Law in Georgia

Authors: Ketevan Kokrashvili, Rusudan Kutateladze, Nino Pailodze


Importance of management of legal entities under private law of which especially corporate management, as well as looking for ways of its improvement and perfection has become especially relevant in the twenty-first century, which was greatly contributed to by the global economic crisis. Some states have adopted Corporate Governance Codes; the European Union has set to work on a series of directives the main purpose of which is an improvement of corporate governance, provision of greater transparency and implementation of an effective control mechanism. This process is not yet completed, and various problematic issues associated with management of legal persons are still being debated among practitioner experts and scholars. Georgia is not an exception in this regard. The article discusses the legislative gaps, and in some cases, discrepancies having arisen in legal relationships under private law and having caused many practical problems. This especially applies to the management of capital companies.

Keywords: business entities, corporate management, capital public management, existing problems, legal discrepancies

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12 The Features of the Synergistic Approach in Marketing Management to Regional Level

Authors: Evgeni Baratashvili, Anzor Abralava, Rusudan Kutateladze, Nino Pailodze, Irma Makharashvili, Larisa Takalandze


Sinergy as a neological term is reflected in modern sciences. It can be found in the various fields of science including the humanities and technical sciences. Among them are biology and medicine, philology, economy and etc. Synergy is the received surplus of marginal high total effect of the groups, consolidated by one common idea, received through endeavored applies of their combined tools, via obtained effect of the separate independent actions of the groups. In the conditions of market economy, according the terms of new communication terminology, synergy effects on management and marketing successfully as well as on purity defense of native language. The well-known scientist’s and public figure’s Academician I. Prangishvili’s works are especially valuable in this aspect. In our opinion the entropy research is linked to his name in our country. In modern economy, the current qualitative changes shows us that the most number of factors and issues have been regrouped. They have a great influence and even define the economic development. The declining abilities of traditional recourses of economic growth have been related on the use of their physical abilities and their moving closer to the edge. Also it is related on the reduced effectiveness, which at the same time increases the expenditures. This means that the leading must be the innovative process system of products and services in the economic growth model. In our opinion the above mentioned system is distinguished with the synergistic approach. It should be noted that the main components of the innovative system are technological, scientific and scientific-technical, social-organizational, managerial and cognitive changes. All of them are reflected on scientific works and inventions in the proper dosages, in know-how and material source. At any stage they create the reproduction cycle. The innovations are different from each other by technologies, origination, design, innovation and quality, subject-content structure, by the the spread of economic processes and the impact of the level of it’s distribution. We have presented a generalized statement of an innovative approach, which is not a single act of innovation but it is also targeted system of the development, implementation, reconciling-exploitation, production, diffusion and commercialization of news. The innovative approaches should be considered as the creation of news, in-depth process of creativity as an innovative alternative to the realization of innovative and entrepreneurial efforts and measures, in order to meet the requirements of the permanent process.

Keywords: economic development, leading process, neological term, synergy

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11 Modern Trends in Foreign Direct Investments in Georgia

Authors: Rusudan Kinkladze, Guguli Kurashvili, Ketevan Chitaladze


Foreign direct investment is a driving force in the development of the interdependent national economies, and the study and analysis of investments is an urgent problem. It is particularly important for transitional economies, such as Georgia, and the study and analysis of investments is an urgent problem. Consequently, the goal of the research is the study and analysis of direct foreign investments in Georgia, and identification and forecasting of modern trends, and covers the period of 2006-2015. The study uses the methods of statistical observation, grouping and analysis, the methods of analytical indicators of time series, trend identification and the predicted values are calculated, as well as various literary and Internet sources relevant to the research. The findings showed that modern investment policy In Georgia is favorable for domestic as well as foreign investors. Georgia is still a net importer of investments. In 2015, the top 10 investing countries was led by Azerbaijan, United Kingdom and Netherlands, and the largest share of FDIs were allocated in the transport and communication sector; the financial sector was the second, followed by the health and social work sector, and the same trend will continue in the future. 

Keywords: foreign direct investments, methods, statistics, analysis

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10 Correlation to Predict Thermal Performance According to Working Fluids of Vertical Closed-Loop Pulsating Heat Pipe

Authors: Niti Kammuang-lue, Kritsada On-ai, Phrut Sakulchangsatjatai, Pradit Terdtoon


The objectives of this paper are to investigate effects of dimensionless numbers on thermal performance of the vertical closed-loop pulsating heat pipe (VCLPHP) and to establish a correlation to predict the thermal performance of the VCLPHP. The CLPHPs were made of long copper capillary tubes with inner diameters of 1.50, 1.78, and 2.16mm and bent into 26 turns. Then, both ends were connected together to form a loop. The evaporator, adiabatic, and condenser sections length were equal to 50 and 150 mm. R123, R141b, acetone, ethanol, and water were chosen as variable working fluids with constant filling ratio of 50% by total volume. Inlet temperature of heating medium and adiabatic section temperature was constantly controlled at 80 and 50oC, respectively. Thermal performance was represented in a term of Kutateladze number (Ku). It can be concluded that when Prandtl number of liquid working fluid (Prl), and Karman number (Ka) increases, thermal performance increases. On contrary, when Bond number (Bo), Jacob number (Ja), and Aspect ratio (Le/Di) increases, thermal performance decreases. Moreover, the correlation to predict more precise thermal performance has been successfully established by analyzing on all dimensionless numbers that have effect on the thermal performance of the VCLPHP.

Keywords: vertical closed-loop pulsating heat pipe, working fluid, thermal performance, dimensionless parameter

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9 Filmic and Verbal Metafphors

Authors: Manana Rusieshvili, Rusudan Dolidze


This paper aims at 1) investigating the ways in which a traditional, monomodal written verbal metaphor can be transposed as a monomodal non-verbal (visual) or multimodal (aural and -visual) filmic metaphor ; 2) exploring similarities and differences in the process of encoding and decoding of monomodal and multimodal metaphors. The empiric data, on which the research is based, embrace three sources: the novel by Harry Gray ‘The Hoods’, the script of the film ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (English version by David Mills) and the resultant film by Sergio Leone. In order to achieve the above mentioned goals, the research focuses on the following issues: 1) identification of verbal and non-verbal monomodal and multimodal metaphors in the above-mentioned sources and 2) investigation of the ways and modes the specific written monomodal metaphors appearing in the novel and the script are enacted in the film and become visual, aural or visual-aural filmic metaphors ; 3) study of the factors which play an important role in contributing to the encoding and decoding of the filmic metaphor. The collection and analysis of the data were carried out in two stages: firstly, the relevant data, i.e. the monomodal metaphors from the novel, the script and the film were identified and collected. In the second, final stage the metaphors taken from all of the three sources were analysed, compared and two types of phenomena were selected for discussion: (1) the monomodal written metaphors found in the novel and/or in the script which become monomodal visual/aural metaphors in the film; (2) the monomodal written metaphors found in the novel and/or in the script which become multimodal, filmic (visual-aural) metaphors in the film.

Keywords: encoding, decoding, filmic metaphor, multimodality

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8 Numerical Modeling of Film Cooling of the Surface at Non-Uniform Heat Flux Distributions on the Wall

Authors: M. V. Bartashevich


The problem of heat transfer at thin laminar liquid film is solved numerically. A thin film of liquid flows down an inclined surface under conditions of variable heat flux on the wall. The use of thin films of liquid allows to create the effective technologies for cooling surfaces. However, it is important to investigate the most suitable cooling regimes from a safety point of view, in order, for example, to avoid overheating caused by the ruptures of the liquid film, and also to study the most effective cooling regimes depending on the character of the distribution of the heat flux on the wall, as well as the character of the blowing of the film surface, i.e., the external shear stress on its surface. In the statement of the problem on the film surface, the heat transfer coefficient between the liquid and gas is set, as well as a variable external shear stress - the intensity of blowing. It is shown that the combination of these factors - the degree of uniformity of the distribution of heat flux on the wall and the intensity of blowing, affects the efficiency of heat transfer. In this case, with an increase in the intensity of blowing, the cooling efficiency increases, reaching a maximum, and then decreases. It is also shown that the more uniform the heating of the wall, the more efficient the heat sink. A separate study was made for the flow regime along the horizontal surface when the liquid film moves solely due to external stress influence. For this mode, the analytical solution is used for the temperature at the entrance region for further numerical calculations downstream. Also the influence of the degree of uniformity of the heat flux distribution on the wall and the intensity of blowing of the film surface on the heat transfer efficiency was also studied. This work was carried out at the Kutateladze Institute of Thermophysics SB RAS (Russia) and supported by FASO Russia.

Keywords: Heat Flux, Heat Transfer Enhancement, External Blowing, Thin Liquid Film

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7 Fermentation of Pretreated Herbaceous Cellulosic Wastes to Ethanol by Anaerobic Cellulolytic and Saccharolytic Thermophilic Clostridia

Authors: Lali Kutateladze, Tamar Urushadze, Tamar Dudauri, Besarion Metreveli, Nino Zakariashvili, Izolda Khokhashvili, Maya Jobava


Lignocellulosic waste streams from agriculture, paper and wood industry are renewable, plentiful and low-cost raw materials that can be used for large-scale production of liquid and gaseous biofuels. As opposed to prevailing multi-stage biotechnological processes developed for bioconversion of cellulosic substrates to ethanol where high-cost cellulase preparations are used, Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) offers to accomplish cellulose and xylan hydrolysis followed by fermentation of both C6 and C5 sugars to ethanol in a single-stage process. Syntrophic microbial consortium comprising of anaerobic, thermophilic, cellulolytic, and saccharolytic bacteria in the genus Clostridia with improved ethanol productivity and high tolerance to fermentation end-products had been proposed for achieving CBP. 65 new strains of anaerobic thermophilic cellulolytic and saccharolytic Clostridia were isolated from different wetlands and hot springs in Georgia. Using new isolates, fermentation of mechanically pretreated wheat straw and corn stalks was done under oxygen-free nitrogen environment in thermophilic conditions (T=550C) and pH 7.1. Process duration was 120 hours. Liquid and gaseous products of fermentation were analyzed on a daily basis using Perkin-Elmer gas chromatographs with flame ionization and thermal detectors. Residual cellulose, xylan, xylose, and glucose were determined using standard methods. Cellulolytic and saccharolytic bacteria strains degraded mechanically pretreated herbaceous cellulosic wastes and fermented glucose and xylose to ethanol, acetic acid and gaseous products like hydrogen and CO2. Specifically, maximum yield of ethanol was reached at 96 h of fermentation and varied between 2.9 – 3.2 g/ 10 g of substrate. The content of acetic acid didn’t exceed 0.35 g/l. Other volatile fatty acids were detected in trace quantities.

Keywords: anaerobic bacteria, cellulosic wastes, Clostridia sp, ethanol

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6 Extremophilic Amylases of Mycelial Fungi Strains Isolated in South Caucasus for Starch Processing

Authors: T. Urushadze, R. Khvedelidze, L. Kutateladze, M. Jobava, T. Burduli, T. Alexidze


There is an increasing interest in reliable, wasteless, ecologically friendly technologies. About 40% of enzymes produced all over the world are used for production of syrups with high concentration of glucose-fructose. One of such technologies complies obtaining fermentable sugar glucose from raw materials containing starch by means of amylases. In modern alcohol-producing factories this process is running in two steps, involving two enzymes of different origin: bacterial α-amylase and fungal glucoamylase, as generally fungal amylases are less thermostable as compared to bacterial amylases. Selection of stable and operable at 700С and higher temperatures enzyme preparation with both α- and glucoamylase activities will allow conducting this process in one step. S. Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology owns unique collection of mycelial fungi, isolated from different ecological niches of Caucasus. As a result of screening our collection 39 strains poducing amylases were revealed. Most of them belong to the genus Aspergillus. Optimum temperatures of action of selected amylases from three producers were estableshed to be within the range 67-80°C. A. niger B-6 showed higher α-amylase activity at 67°C, and glucoamylase activity at 62°C, A. niger 6-12 showed higher α-amylase activity at 72°C, and glucoamylase activity at 65°C, Aspergillus niger p8-3 showed higher activities at 82°C and 70°C, for α-amylase and glucoamylase activities, respectively. Exhaustive hydrolysis process of starch solutions of different concentrations (3, 5, 15, and 30 %) with cultural liquid and technical preparation of Aspergillus niger p8-3 enzyme was studied. In case of low concentrations exhaustive hydrolysis of starch lasts 40–60 minutes, in case of high concentrations hydrolysis takes longer time. 98, 6% yield of glucose can be reached at incubation during 12 hours with enzyme cultural liquid and 8 hours incubation with technical preparation of the enzyme at gradual increase of temperature from 50°C to 82°C during the first 20 minutes and further decrease of temperature to 70°C. Temperature setting for high yield of glucose and high hydrolysis (pasteurizing), optimal for activity of these strains is the prerequisite to be able to carry out hydrolysis of starch to glucose in one step, and consequently, using one strain, what will be economically justified.

Keywords: amylase, glucose hydrolisis, stability, starch

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5 The Effect of Employees' Positive Attitude and Smile and Its Impact on the Quality of Service in the Hospitality Service

Authors: Mariam Kutateladze


In the twenty-first century, in the customer service settings for hospitality institution’s employee management and their well-being have become a core issue since it is linked to the customers' increased demand for high-quality service. Employees' positive attitude to customers plays an essential role in the serving process; for this reason, in the hospitality institutions service with a smile is a job requirement. This research is devoted to the issues of employee management systems improvement and its effect of the genuine smile as a positive attitude expressed by the employees to the customer. Different researchers work about the effect of the genuine smile, which is analyzed in the present paper. Based on it, the link between satisfied employees from service climate and their genuine smile is determined. An investigation in local resort hotels which are located in the regions of Georgia is conducted. In the methodology of the paper, we have used linkage research, which stated that employee satisfaction in a working place depends on the existing service climate in an organization. We have prepared questioners according to eight dimensions of good service climate by linkage research, and extra questions about the effect of the smile on customers were added. Questionnaires were distributed among employees, and the results have shown that dissatisfaction from organizations’ service climate led to employees' false smile toward customers. Demanding positive emotions from frustrated employees was the mistake of the hotel management. The false smile was easily recognized by the customers, and the frustrated employee with a false smile could not provide high-quality service. The findings of the paper will help managers to realize the importance of forming the positive service climate within the institutions since it is linked to employees' well-being who are the creators of high-quality service. The conclusion drawn from this study indicates there are core issues those managers need to take into account when planning their organizations’ profit. Managers should know their employees very well, their feelings and attitudes toward work before asking them expressing a smile since forced smile does not have a good result and quite often has bad outcomes; therefore, first of all, managers should investigate service climate in the organization. Managers should take into consideration employees’ opinions about the service climate in the organization, motivate their employees, and respect their ideas. Also, they should satisfy employees' basic needs and stress more value on extrinsic goals such as competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Managers should create a positive working environment, positive service climate, which will lead to employee satisfaction and genuine feelings, as well as improve the working environment since negative working climate will cause customers disappointment because of low-quality service provided by the unsatisfied employees.

Keywords: employee management, hotel, quality of service, service climate

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4 Cellulolytic and Xylanolytic Enzymes from Mycelial Fungi

Authors: T. Sadunishvili, L. Kutateladze, T. Urushadze, R. Khvedelidze, N. Zakariashvili, M. Jobava, G. Kvesitadze


Multiple repeated soil-climatic zones in Georgia determines the diversity of microorganisms. Hundreds of microscopic fungi of different genera have been isolated from different ecological niches, including some extreme environments. Biosynthetic ability of microscopic fungi has been studied. Trichoderma ressei, representative of the Ascomycetes secrete cellulolytic and xylanolytic enzymes that act in synergy to hydrolyze polysaccharide polymers to glucose, xylose and arabinose, which can be fermented to biofuels. The other mesophilic strains producing cellulases are Allesheria terrestris, Chaetomium thermophile, Fusarium oxysporium, Piptoporus betulinus, Penicillium echinulatum, P. purpurogenum, Aspergillus niger, A. wentii, A. versicolor, A. fumigatus etc. In the majority of the cases the cellulases produced by strains of genus Aspergillus usually have high β-glucosidase activity and average endoglucanases levels (with some exceptions), whereas strains representing Trichoderma have high endo enzyme and low β-glucosidase, and hence has limited efficiency in cellulose hydrolysis. Six producers of stable cellulases and xylanases from mesophilic and thermophilic fungi have been selected. By optimization of submerged cultivation conditions, high activities of cellulases and xylanases were obtained. For enzymes purification, their sedimentation by organic solvents such as ethyl alcohol, acetone, isopropanol and by ammonium sulphate in different ratios have been carried out. Best results were obtained with precipitation by ethyl alcohol (1:3.5) and ammonium sulphate. The yields of enzyme according to cellulase activities were 80-85% in both cases. Cellulase activity of enzyme preparation obtained from the strain Trichoderma viride X 33 is 126 U/g, from the strain Penicillium canescence D 85–185U/g and from the strain Sporotrichum pulverulentum T 5-0 110 U/g. Cellulase activity of enzyme preparation obtained from the strain Aspergillus sp. Av10 is 120 U/g, xylanase activity of enzyme preparation obtained from the strain Aspergillus niger A 7-5–1155U/g and from the strain Aspergillus niger Aj 38-1250 U/g. Optimum pH and temperature of operation and thermostability, of the enzyme preparations, were established. The efficiency of hydrolyses of different agricultural residues by the microscopic fungi cellulases has been studied. The glucose yield from the residues as a result of enzymatic hydrolysis is highly determined by the ratio of enzyme to substrate, pH, temperature, and duration of the process. Hydrolysis efficiency was significantly increased as a result of different pretreatment of the residues by different methods. Acknowledgement: The Study was supported by the ISTC project G-2117, funded by Korea.

Keywords: cellulase, xylanase, microscopic fungi, enzymatic hydrolysis

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3 Convergence of Strategic Tasks of Business Tourism and Hotel Industry Development: The Case of Georgia

Authors: Nana Katsitadze, Tamar Atanelishvili, Mariam Kutateladze, Alexandre Tushishvili


In the modern world, tourism has emerged as one of the most powerful economic sectors, and due to its high economic performance, it is attractive to the countries with various levels of economic development. The purpose of the present paper, dedicated to discussing the current problems of tourism development, is to find ways which will contribute to bringing more benefits to the country from the sector. Georgia has been successfully developing leisure tourism for the last ten years, and at the next stage of development business, tourism gains particular importance for Georgia as a means of mitigating the negative socio-economic effects caused by the seasonality of tourism and as a high-cost tourism market. Therefore, the object of the paper is to study the factors that contribute to the development of business tourism. The paper uses the research methods such as system analysis, synthesis, analogy, as well as historical, comparative, economic, and statistical methods of analysis. The information base for the research is made up of the statistics on the functioning of the tourism market of Georgia and foreign countries as well as official data provided by international organizations in the field of tourism. Based on the experience of business tourism around the world and identifying the successful start of business tourism development in Georgia and its causing factors, a business tourism development model for Georgia has been developed. The model might be useful as a methodological material for developing a business tourism development concept for the countries with limited financial resources but rich in tourism resources like Georgia. On the initial stage of development (in absence of conventional centers), the suggested concept of business tourism development involves organizing small and medium-sized meetings both in large cities and in regions by using high-class hotel infrastructure and event management services. Relocation of small meetings to the regions encourages inclusive development of the sector based on increasing the awareness of these regions as tourist sites as well as the increase in employment and sales of other tourism or consumer products. Business tourism increases the number of hotel visitors in the non-seasonal period and improves hotel performance indicators, which enhances the attractiveness of investing in the hotel business. According to the present concept of business tourism development, at the initial stage, development of business tourism is based on the existing markets, including internal market, neighboring markets and the markets of geographically relatively near countries and at the next stage, the concept involves generating tourists from other relatively distant target markets. As a result, by gaining experience in business tourism, enhancing professionalism, increasing awareness and stimulating infrastructure development, the country will prepare the basis to move to a higher stage of tourism development. In addition, the experience showed that for attracting large customers, peculiarities of the field require activation of state policy and active use of marketing mechanisms and tools of the state.

Keywords: hotel industry development, MICE model, MICE strategy, MICE tourism in Georgia

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2 The Late Bronze Age Archeometallurgy of Copper in Mountainous Colchis (Lechkhumi), Georgia

Authors: Nino Sulava, Brian Gilmour, Nana Rezesidze, Tamar Beridze, Rusudan Chagelishvili


Studies of ancient metallurgy are a subject of worldwide current interest. Georgia with its famous early metalworking traditions is one of the central parts of in the Caucasus region. The aim of the present study is to introduce the results of archaeometallurgical investigations being undertaken in the mountain region of Colchis, Lechkhumi (the Tsageri Municipality of western Georgia) and establish their place in the existing archaeological context. Lechkhumi (one of the historic provinces of Georgia known from Georgian, Greek, Byzantine and Armenian written sources as Lechkhumi/Skvimnia/Takveri) is the part of the Colchian mountain area. It is one of the important but little known centres of prehistoric metallurgy in the Caucasian region and of Colchian Bronze Age culture. Reconnaissance archaeological expeditions (2011-2015) revealed significant prehistoric metallurgical sites in Lechkhumi. Sites located in the vicinity of Dogurashi Village (Tsageri Municipality) have become the target area for archaeological excavations. During archaeological excavations conducted in 2016-2018 two archaeometallurgical sites – Dogurashi I and Dogurashi II were investigated. As a result of an interdisciplinary (archaeological, geological and geophysical) survey, it has been established that at both prehistoric Dogurashi mountain sites, it was copper that was being smelted and the ore sources are likely to be of local origin. Radiocarbon dating results confirm they were operating between about the 13th and 9th century BC. More recently another similar site has been identified in this area (Dogurashi III), and this is about to undergo detailed investigation. Other prehistoric metallurgical sites are being located and investigated in the Lechkhumi region as well as chance archaeological finds (often in hoards) – copper ingots, metallurgical production debris, slag, fragments of crucibles, tuyeres (air delivery pipes), furnace wall fragments and other related waste debris. Other chance finds being investigated are the many copper, bronze and (some) iron artefacts that have been found over many years. These include copper ingots, copper, bronze and iron artefacts such as tools, jewelry, and decorative items. These show the important but little known or understood the role of Lechkhumi in the late Bronze Age culture of Colchis. It would seem that mining and metallurgical manufacture form part of the local agricultural yearly lifecycle. Colchian ceramics have been found and also evidence for artefact production, small stone mould fragments and encrusted material from the casting of a fylfot (swastika) form of Colchian bronze buckle found in the vicinities of the early settlements of Tskheta and Dekhviri. Excavation and investigation of previously unknown archaeometallurgical sites in Lechkhumi will contribute significantly to the knowledge and understanding of prehistoric Colchian metallurgy in western Georgia (Adjara, Guria, Samegrelo, and Svaneti) and will reveal the importance of this region in the study of ancient metallurgy in Georgia and the Caucasus. Acknowledgment: This work has been supported by the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation (grant FR # 217128).

Keywords: archaeometallurgy, Colchis, copper, Lechkhumi

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1 Recent Findings of Late Bronze Age Mining and Archaeometallurgy Activities in the Mountain Region of Colchis (Southern Lechkhumi, Georgia)

Authors: Rusudan Chagelishvili, Nino Sulava, Tamar Beridze, Nana Rezesidze, Nikoloz Tatuashvili


The South Caucasus is one of the most important centers of prehistoric metallurgy, known for its Colchian bronze culture. Modern Lechkhumi – historical Mountainous Colchis where the existence of prehistoric metallurgy is confirmed by the discovery of many artifacts is a part of this area. Studies focused on prehistoric smelting sites, related artifacts and ore deposits have been conducted during the last ten years in Lechkhumi. More than 20 prehistoric smelting sites and artifacts associated with metallurgical activities (ore roasting furnaces, slags, crucible, and tuyères fragments) have been identified so far. Within the framework of integrated studies was established that these sites were operating in 13-9 centuries B.C. and used for copper smelting. Palynological studies of slags revealed that chestnut (Castanea sativa) and hornbeam (Carpinus sp.) wood was used as smelting fuel. Geological exploration-analytical studies revealed that copper ore mining, processing and smelting sites were distributed close to each other. Despite recent complex data, the signs of prehistoric mines (trenches) haven’t been found in this part of the study area so far. Since 2018 the archaeological-geological exploration has been focused on the southern part of Lechkhumi and covered the areas of villages Okureshi and Opitara. Several copper smelting sites (Okureshi 1 and 2, Opitara 1), as well as a Colchian Bronze culture settlement, have been identified here. Three mine workings have been found in the narrow gorge of the river Rtkhmelebisgele in the vicinities of the village Opitara. In order to establish a link between the Opitara-Okureshi archaeometallurgical sites, Late Bronze Age settlement and mines, various scientific analytical methods - mineralized rock and slags petrography and atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) analysis have been applied. The careful examination of Opitara mine workings revealed that there is a striking difference between mine #1 on the right bank of the river and mine #2 and #3 on the left bank. The first one has all characteristic features of the Soviet period mine working (e. g. high portal with angular ribs and roof showing signs of blasting). In contrast, mines #2 and #3, which are located very close to each other, have round-shaped portals/entrances, low roofs and fairly smooth ribs and are filled with thick layers of river sediments and collapsed weathered rock mass. A thorough review of the publications related to prehistoric mine workings and revealed some striking similarities between mines #2 and #3 with their worldwide analogs. Apparently, the ore extraction from these mines was conducted by fire-setting applying primitive tools. It was also established that mines are cut in Jurassic mineralized volcanic rocks. Ore minerals (chalcopyrite, pyrite, galena) are related to calcite and quartz veins. The results obtained through the petrochemical and petrography studies of mineralized rock samples from Opitara mines and prehistoric slags are in complete correlation with each other, establishing the direct link between copper mining, and smelting within the study area. This work was supported by the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia (grant # FR-19-13022).

Keywords: archaeometallurgy, mountainous Colchis, mining, ore minerals

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