Archaeological-Architectural Museum-Reserve of the Castle of Petra
Early medieval castle and several other remains of relatively late fortifications, remains of V c. basilica coupled with the ruins of Antique and Hellenistic residential constructions (so called “Villa”) and burials of the same periods.
Information on the castle of Petra as on one of the most significant fortifications of the country of Lazika and a centre of the Episcopate with the cathedral temple is preserved in Greek manuscripts of VI-IX cc. AD According to the preserved data, in times of the Byzantine Emperor Eustinynen (527-565) a city was founded just at the southern border of the Kingdome of Egrisi, that became decisive during the long war fought by Byzantium and Iran for domination over the region; The acropolis of Perta was erected on the seaside rocky elevation protected by massive masonry defensive wall and natural steep rocky slopes from south. Because of the successful combination of natural and artificial fortifications this castle considered impregnable was named by the Byzantines Petra Castle- a stone castle.
The Museum-Reserve of the Castle of Petra is arranged on the territory of the village of Tsikhisdziri, Kobuleti Municipality and comprises the early medieval complex of the castle of Petra and its outskirts. Petra castle is one of the most significant monuments of material culture on the entire eastern coast of the Black Sea. The excavations conducted here have revealed several archaeological monuments of different historical periods, the earliest of which belongs to Late-Bronze –Early Iron Age, while the latest of them are of the end of the Middle Ages.
Several golden, silver and bonze artifacts found on the territory of the complex during the excavations are exhibited in local museum. They cover the vast period of time from pre-antique period to early middle ages. The most noteworthy of those findings are as follows: remains of the basilica of the V c AD, architectural details of several constructions represented by marble capitals and capitals made of other rocks, fragments of mosaic, Antique and Hellenistic tombs, artifacts and architectural details of quarters dated back by VIII-VI cc, remains of the alter and of the IV-V cc construction, numerous weapons and tools used for the economic activities.
The numismatic collection of the museum is one of the richest in the region. Although most of them are chance findings, they make a very interesting collection of Greek, Roman, Parthian, Sasanian, Byzantine, Arabic and Ottoman coins. Some of the coins found here are exhibited in other museums and collections.
Archaeological monuments of Tsikhisdziri provide valuable and rich material for better understanding of complex political, cultural and economic interrelations of Byzantium, Iran and the Kingdome of Lasika.