Akhaltsikhe (Georgian: ახალციხე [aχaɫtsʰiχe]), formerly known as Lomsia (Georgian: ლომსია), is a small city in Georgia's southwestern region (mkhare) of Samtskhe–Javakheti. It is the administrative center of the Akhaltsikhe Municipality and the Samtskhe–Javakheti region. It is situated on both banks of the small river Potskhovi (a left tributary of the Kura), which divides the city between the old city in the north and new in the south.

Akhaltsikhe
ახალციხე
Flag of Akhaltsikhe
Official seal of Akhaltsikhe
Akhaltsikhe is located in Georgia
Akhaltsikhe
Akhaltsikhe
Location of Akhaltsikhe in Georgia
Akhaltsikhe is located in Samtskhe-Javakheti
Akhaltsikhe
Akhaltsikhe
Akhaltsikhe (Samtskhe-Javakheti)
Coordinates: 41°38′20″N 42°59′10″E / 41.63889°N 42.98611°E / 41.63889; 42.98611
Country Georgia
RegionSamtskhe–Javakheti
MunicipalityAkhaltsikhe
Founded1200
Elevation
1,029 m (3,376 ft)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total16,943
Time zoneUTC+4 (Georgian Time)
Postal code
0800
Websiteakhaltsikhe.gov.ge/en

The 9th-century Akhaltsikhe (Rabati) Castle, which was recently restored, is located in the old part of the city. It is one of the main attractions of the Samtskhe–Javakheti region, along with Vardzia, Vale, Okrostsikhe and Zarzma.

Toponymy edit

Akhaltsikhe is the Georgian name of the town, which literally means "new fortress". It is attested in Arabic sources as Akhiskha (and Akhsikhath), in Persian as Akhesqeh (also spelled as Akheshkheh), and in Turkish sources as Ahıska.[1][2][3]

History edit

 
Akhaltsikhe c. 1887

The town is mentioned among the settlements conquered by general Habib ibn Maslama al-Fihri during the reign of Umayyad Caliph Mu'awiya I (661–680). During the Mongol domination of Georgia, local rulers of the House of Jaqeli, who ruled the feudal principality of Samtskhe-Saatabago, were invested with the title of atabeg and were allowed to be autonomous. In contemporaneous Persian and Turkish sources, these Jaqeli rulers were referred to as Ḳurḳūra, which derives from Qvarqvare—the name of several Jaqeli rulers.[1]

In 1579, during the Ottoman–Safavid War of 1578–1590, the Ottomans took the town. In the ensuing period, the Ottomans implanted Islam and Ottoman customs. In 1625, the town became the centre of the Akhalzik Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire known as Ahıska and it held a resident Ottoman pasha. The town rose to strategic importance and became a leading hub of the Caucasian slave market.[1]

In 1828, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829, Russian troops under the command of General Ivan Paskevich captured the city and, as a consequence of the 1829 Treaty of Adrianople, it was ceded to the Russian Empire. The city initially become part of the Kutaisi Governorate, then of the Tiflis Governorate, becoming the administrative centre of the Akhaltsikhe uezd.[1]

In the late 1980s the city was host to the Soviet Army's 10th Guards Motor Rifle Division, which became a brigade of the Georgian land forces after the fall of the Soviet Union.[citation needed]

Population edit

Population and ethnic composition of Akhaltsikhe from the late 19th century[4]
Year Georgians Armenians Russians Jews Others Total
1886 2,733 17% 10,417 64.6% 146 0.9% 2,545 15.8% 275 1.7% 16,116
1897[5][6] 3,578 23.3% 9,035 58.8% 1,172 7.3% 438 2.9% 1,134 3.4% 15,357
1916[7] 2,783 10.9% 18,165 71.3% 716 2.8% 3,246 12.7% 560 2.2% 25,470
1926[8] 1,817 14.8% 6,516 52.9% 1,425 11.6% 94 0.8% 2,458 20.0% 12,310
1959[9] 6,801 25.7% 14,341 54.1% 3,509 13.2% 368 1.4% 1,478 5.6% 26,497
1979[10] 5,714 29.2% 10,278 52.5% 2,208 11.3% 337 1.7% 1,050 5.4% 19,587
1989 24,570
2014[11] 12,838 71.7% 4,781 26.7% 75 0.4% 11 0.06% 198 1.1% 17,903
2023[12] 16,943

Climate edit

 
View of Akhaltsikhe
Climate data for Akhaltsikhe (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.5
(58.1)
20.0
(68.0)
26.0
(78.8)
30.9
(87.6)
32.9
(91.2)
36.6
(97.9)
40.5
(104.9)
40.0
(104.0)
36.2
(97.2)
35.1
(95.2)
20.9
(69.6)
17.5
(63.5)
40.5
(104.9)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 3.1
(37.6)
5.0
(41.0)
11.0
(51.8)
17.6
(63.7)
21.9
(71.4)
25.5
(77.9)
28.9
(84.0)
29.4
(84.9)
25.2
(77.4)
18.6
(65.5)
10.9
(51.6)
4.8
(40.6)
16.8
(62.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.1
(26.4)
−1.6
(29.1)
3.3
(37.9)
9.1
(48.4)
13.4
(56.1)
17.1
(62.8)
20.5
(68.9)
20.5
(68.9)
16.1
(61.0)
10.3
(50.5)
3.9
(39.0)
−1.3
(29.7)
9.0
(48.2)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −7.4
(18.7)
−6.3
(20.7)
−2.4
(27.7)
2.6
(36.7)
6.9
(44.4)
10.8
(51.4)
14.2
(57.6)
13.7
(56.7)
9.1
(48.4)
4.3
(39.7)
−0.8
(30.6)
−5.4
(22.3)
3.3
(37.9)
Record low °C (°F) −25.5
(−13.9)
−22.2
(−8.0)
−21.4
(−6.5)
−14.1
(6.6)
−2.8
(27.0)
−0.4
(31.3)
4.1
(39.4)
1.5
(34.7)
−1.5
(29.3)
−7.5
(18.5)
−12.1
(10.2)
−24.3
(−11.7)
−25.5
(−13.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 24.3
(0.96)
26.7
(1.05)
35.9
(1.41)
49.3
(1.94)
67.0
(2.64)
77.7
(3.06)
61.0
(2.40)
49.8
(1.96)
34.3
(1.35)
40.5
(1.59)
35.3
(1.39)
26.2
(1.03)
527.9
(20.78)
Source: World Meteorological Organization[13]

Archaeology edit

 
Streets of Akhaltsikhe

The highland environment between Akhaltsikhe and Aspindza presents a varied and complex array of archaeological features in different locations, elevations and topographies. This includes the alluvial flood-plain of the Kura River, all the way to the high grasslands.[citation needed]

Human habitation is attested already in the Early Bronze Age (4th millennium BC) and later. Artifacts from the Roman and medieval periods are also strongly represented in the area.[citation needed]

Amiranis Gora edit

The important archaeological site of Amiranis Gora is located on the northeastern outskirts of Akhaltsikhe.[14] It was excavated by Tariel Chubinishvili.[15] The earliest carbon date for Amiranis Gora is 3790-3373 cal BC. It was obtained from the charcoal of the metallurgical workshop which belonged to the earliest building horizon of Amiranis Gora[16] This indicates a division of metallurgical production into extractive and processing branches.[17]

Amiranis Gora is an important reference point for the study of the Early Bronze Age Kura–Araxes culture, also known as the Early Transcaucasian Culture. The many references include the architecture, burial practices, material culture and metallurgy.[18][19][20] Amiranis Gora is one of the best sites with fixed stratigraphy of the Kura-Araxes culture. The carbon date for the Kura-Araxes material at Amiranis Gora is 3630-3048 cal B.C., which is very early.[17]

People associated with Akhaltsikhe edit

International relations edit

Twin towns and sister cities edit

Akhaltsikhe is twinned with:

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Minorsky, V. (1960). "Ak̲h̲isk̲h̲a". In Gibb, H. A. R.; Kramers, J. H.; Lévi-Provençal, E.; Schacht, J.; Lewis, B. & Pellat, Ch. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Volume I: A–B. Leiden: E. J. Brill. OCLC 495469456.
  2. ^ Floor, Willem M. (2008). Titles and Emoluments in Safavid Iran: A Third Manual of Safavid Administration, by Mirza Naqi Nasiri. Washington, DC: Mage Publishers. p. 140. ISBN 978-1933823232.
  3. ^ Sanjian, Avetis K. (2013), Colophons of Armenian Manuscripts, 1301-1480: A Source for Middle Eastern History, Harvard Armenian Texts and Studies, vol. 2, Harvard University Press, p. 395, doi:10.4159/harvard.9780674432635, ISBN 978-0-674-43263-5
  4. ^ "население грузии". Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  5. ^ "Демоскоп Weekly - Приложение. Справочник статистических показателей". Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  6. ^ "АХАЛЦИХСКИЙ УЕЗД (1897 г.)". Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  7. ^ Кавказский календарь на 1917 год [Caucasian calendar for 1917] (in Russian) (72nd ed.). Tiflis: Tipografiya kantselyarii Ye.I.V. na Kavkaze, kazenny dom. 1917. pp. 206–213. Archived from the original on 4 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Ахалцихский уезд 1926". www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru.
  9. ^ "Ахалцихский район 1959". www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru.
  10. ^ "Ethnic composition: 1979 census". pop-stat.mashke.org. Archived from the original on 20 December 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Ethnic composition, all places: 2014 census". pop-stat.mashke.org. Archived from the original on 20 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Georgia: Regions, Major Cities & Urban Settlements - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information". www.citypopulation.de. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  13. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1981–2010". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on 9 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  14. ^ Kakhiani, Kakha; Sagona, Antonio; Sagona, Claudia; Kvavadze, Eliso; Bedianashvili, Giorgi; Massager, Erwan; Martin, Lucie; Herrscher, Estelle; Martkoplishvili, Inga; Birkett-Rees, Jessie; Longford, Catherine (2013). "Archaeological Investigations at Chobareti in Southern Georgia, the Caucasus". Ancient Near Eastern Studies. 50: 1–138. doi:10.2143/ANES.50.0.2975510. ISSN 1378-4641.
  15. ^ Chubinishvili, T. N. Amiranis Gora: masalebi Mesxetʻ-Javaxetʻis użvelesi istoriisatʻvis ამირანის გორა: მასალები მესხეთ-ჯავახეთის უძველესი ისტორიისთვის [Amiranis Gora: Materials on the Ancient History of Meskhet-Javakheti] (in Georgian). Tbilisi: Sabchota Saqartvelo. OCLC 21445209.
  16. ^ Kushnareva, K. Kh.; Chubinishvili, T. N. (1970). Drevnie kulʹtury I︠U︡zhnogo Kavkaza: (V-III tys. do n.ė.) Древние культуры Южного Кавказа (V-III тыс. до н.э.) [Ancient Cultures of Southern Caucasus (5th-3rd millennia BCE)] (in Russian). Leningrad: Nauka. p. 114, fig. 5.1. OCLC 3011868.
  17. ^ a b Kavtaradze, Giorgi Leon (1999). "The importance of metallurgical data for the formation of a Central Transcaucasian chronology". In Hauptmann, Andreas (ed.). The Beginnings of Metallurgy: Proceedings of the International Conference "The Beginnings of Metallurgy", Bochum, 1995. Bochum: Deutsches Bergbau-Museum. ISBN 9783921533635.
  18. ^ Palumbi, G. (2008). The Red and Black: Social and Cultural Interaction between the Upper Euphrates and Southem Caucasus Communities in the Fourth and Third Millennium BC. Studi di Preistoria Orientale 2. Università di Roma "Sapienza". ISBN 9788890424007.
  19. ^ Kiguradze, Tamaz; Sagona, Antonio (2003). "On the Origins of the Kura-Araxes Cultural Complex". In Smith, Adam T.; Rubinson, Karen Sydney (eds.). Archaeology in the Borderlands: Investigations in Caucasia and Beyond. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. pp. 38–94. ISBN 978-1-931745-01-7.
  20. ^ Burney, Charles; Lang, David Marshall (1971). The People of the Hills, Ancient Ararat and Caucasus. New York: Praeger.
  21. ^ "About Ardahan". Website Ardahan (in Turkmen). Retrieved 2022-03-02.