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Akhaltsikhe
ახალციხე
Akhaltsike, view from Rabati.jpg
Rabati, Akhaltsikhe, Georgia.jpg
Rabati Castle in Akhaltsikhe, view from the city.jpg
Flag of Akhaltsikhe
[[File:COA_of_Akhaltsikhe.svg]|100x100px|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; 42.98611Coordinates: 41°38′20″N 42°59′10″E / 41.63889°N 42.98611°E / 41.63889; 42.98611
Country Georgia
mkhareSamtskhe-Javakheti
DistrictAkhaltsikhe
Founded1200
Elevation
1,029 m (3,376 ft)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total16,943
Time zoneUTC+4 (Georgian Time)
Postal code
0800
Websiteakhaltsikhe.gov.ge/en

Akhaltsikhe (Georgian: ახალციხე [ɑχɑltsʰiχɛ]), formerly known as Lomsia (Georgian: ლომსია), is a small city in Georgia's southwestern region (mkhare) of Samtskhe–Javakheti. It is situated on both banks of a 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.

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

Toponymy

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

Akhaltsikhe c. 1887
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 (1578-1590), the Ottomans took the town. In the ensuing period, the Ottomans implanted Islam and Ottoman customs. From 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 foremost hub of the Caucasian slave market.[1]

In 1828, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829, Russian troops under the command of General Paskevich captured the city and, as a consequence of the 1829 Treaty of Adrianople (Edirne), it was ceded to the Russian Empire as part of first of Kutaisi Governorate, and then of the Tiflis Governorate as the administrative center 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.

Population

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

Climate

View of Akhaltsikhe
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)
Average high °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)
Average low °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[12]

Archaeology

Streets of Akhaltsikhe
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, and all the way to the high grasslands.

Human occupation is attested already in the Early Bronze Age (4th millennium BC) and later.

The Roman and medieval periods artifacts are also strongly represented in the area.

Amiranis Gora

On the northeastern outskirts of Akhaltsikhe is an important archaeological site of Amiranis Gora.[13] It was excavated by Chubinishvili.[14] 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[15] This indicates a division of the metallurgical production in the extractive and processing branches.[16]

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.[17]

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.[16]

People associated with Akhaltsikhe

International relations

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Georgia

Twin towns and sister cities

Akhaltsikhe is twinned with:

See also

References

  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, New 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. ^ Colophons of Armenian Manuscripts, 1301-1480: A Source for Middle Eastern History, Cambridge, MA and London, England: Harvard University Press, 2013. p. 395. https://doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674432635
  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. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1981–2010". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on 9 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  13. ^ Archaeological Investigations at Chobareti in Southern Georgia, the Caucasus Author(s): KAKHIANI, Kakha , SAGONA, Antonio, SAGONA, Claudia, KVAVADZE, Eliso , BEDIANASHVILI, Giorgi , MASSAGER, Erwan , MARTIN, Lucie , HERRSCHER, Estelle , MARTKOPLISHVILI, Inga , BIRKETT-REES, Jessie , LONGFORD, Catherine Journal: Ancient Near Eastern Studies Volume: 50 Date: 2013 Pages: 1-138 doi:10.2143/ANES.50.0.2975510
  14. ^ Chubinishvili, T., 1963: Amiranis Gora, Tbilisi: Sabchota Saqartvelo
  15. ^ Kushnareva & Chubinishvili 1970: 114, Fig. 5.1
  16. ^ a b THE BEGINNINGS OF METALLURGY Proceedings of the International Conference, Bochum 1995
  17. ^ Palumbi 2008; Kiguradze and Sagona 2003; Burney and Lang 1971
  18. ^ "About Ardahan". Website Ardahan (in Turkmen). Retrieved 2022-03-02.