Zguderi Kareli Municipality
Zguderi is a village situated in the Dzami river gorge, Kareli Municipality (800 m. above sea level). In 1964-1966, to the west from Zguderi, on the left bank of the river Dzami several sites were excavated (G. Nemsadze) in place Gochaantkari: a cemetery (10 pit-burials and 6 round stone mounds) of the Late Bronze Age (the end of the 2nd millennium BC – beginning of the 1st millennium AD), a site of the 2nd – 4th cc. AD settlement, a cemetery with nobles’ and common people’s graves, and also a site of an early medieval period settlement.
In each mound (5 meters in diameter) one deceased was buried. Burial inventory contained black and grey burnt clay pottery, including ware decorated with ornaments (pots, dishes, a milk churn), adornments (bronze pins, bracelets and rings, sardine, glass and paste beads), tools and fighting weapons (a bronze needle, big needle, arrowheads, an iron open-socked spearhead.
There were either one or two deceased buried in each noble’s pit-burial and stone sarcophagus of the end of the 2nd c. BC – beginning of the 4th c. AD. Gold, silver and bronze objects found in the graves included a dish with Greek and Aramaic inscriptions, a spoon and a bowl, dishes with images of a boar and a dog, gold earrings with precious stones, rings with gems, bracelets, buckles, ritual-related items: a bronze griffin, two incensories, one of which represented an image of a bull head and the second was a model of a temple, imported glass vessels, wooden bed legs wrapped with silver; gold and silver Roman and Parthian coins.
Near the nobles’ graves there were synchronous poor pit-burials which contained pinkish and grey burnt clay pitchers, silver rings, one gold ringed earring, silver Parthian coins.
The settlement of the 3rd – 6th cc. AD was excavated 80 m. north of the cemetery. Archaeologists revealed a foundation of stone structures (1.5 m. wide), several rather sizable flat-bottomed handled amphorae decorated with cut out swastikas.
About 150 m. east of the above-mentioned settlement, remains of a medieval settlement were excavated. Archaeologists have revealed there dwelling rooms with rammed ground floor, remains of a central column and a hearth, remains of household structures, big pitchers, bakeries, an oil-distiller, ceramic vessels, a water pipeline, etc.