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Photo Exhibition of Cyprus Archaeological Expedition Opens at TSU

A photo exhibition depicting the activities of TSU student archeological expedition in Cyprus was opened at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) on June 28. The TSU archeological expedition working in Cyprus since 2016 has made important discoveries.

Church ruins discovered in the village of Sophtades are associated with the activities of Georgian monks in Cyprus. The church was reconstructed for several times in a period between the 5th-6th centuries and the 16th century. Professor Vakhtang Licheli, head of the expedition and director of the TSU Institute of Archaeology, said that along with the church ruins, the expedition discovered medieval diverse decorative details, as well as fragments of decorated ceramics belonging to the 12th-7th centuries BC, two damaged sculptors of Roman Age and a small fragment of a Cypriot inscription.

“The purpose of this photo exhibition is to show the results of our activities to the public, TSU and Rustaveli National Science Foundation that supported our works in Cyprus. Various metal items representing an extraordinary discovery have been handed over to the chemical laboratory of the Nikozi Department for the Protection of Antiquities. We have reached an agreement with the Cyprus Department of Antiquities to exhibit various archaeological items discovered by us at the TSU exhibition hall,” Prof. Licheli said.

The Cypriot side included the small, but extremely important fragment of Cypriot inscription discovered by the TSU expedition into the catalogue of Cypriot inscriptions. 

TSU Chancellor Lasha Saghinadze, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Nunu Mitskevich, Dean of the TSU Faculty of Humanities, Nana Gaprindashvili, professors and students attended the exhibition.

“TSU is hosting a very important photo exhibition, highlighting the work of the expedition conducted by the TSU Institute of Archaeology, involving a lot of archeological discoveries. Our expedition has been working in Cyprus since 2016 with the support of Rustaveli National Science Foundation and the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation. We hope that in the near future, we will be hosting another exhibition displaying not only photos but various items as well,” TSU Chancellor Lasha Saghinadze said.

Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Nunu Mitskevich said that the TSU expedition led by Professor Vakhtang Licheli will make a huge contribution to the Kartvelian and Georgia studies.

“The State is actively supporting the research direction of the Kartvelian and Georgia studies. Today’s exhibition is just dedicated to the description of cultural heritage outside Georgia. We hope that correct information and messages will be sent to future generations about the Iberians living in Cyprus,” Nunu Mitskevich said.

“The research of Georgian antiquities of Cyprus is an extremely important process, which is of huge scientific, as well as political and cultural significance. Our country, which quite recently gained its political independence and a worthy place on the world political map, is now trying to gain a place on the world cultural map. With this project and its results, Georgia is reiterating that it had been and remains an organic part of the civilized world, and will continue to develop alongside the civilized society of the world in the future,” Dean of the TSU Faculty of Humanities, Nana Gaprindashvili said.

The TSU Institute of Archeology launched its expedition in Cyprus in 2016-2017 with the support of Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation, National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation, Georgian Embassy to Cyprus, the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus and Larnaca Archeological Museum.