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Ancient Roman Barracks Found in Gonio Fortress

Archaeological excavations are coming to an end at a historical castle in western Georgia that earlier revealed some ancient treasures.

Roman barracks were unearthed in the final stage of excavations at Gonio Fortress, located in Gonio at the southwestern tip of Georgia on the Turkish border.

Yesterday Georgia’s Minister of Culture and Monument Protection Mikheil Giorgadze visited the historic reserve and observed the excavation works with chairman of the Adjara Government Archil Khabadze, director of Georgia’s National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation Nikoloz Antidze and director of Adjara’s Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation Miranda Charkviani.

Georgia’s Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia (left) visited the compound and discussed future plans for the site. Photo by Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia Facebook Page.

The Fortress is undergoing major development to transform the site from a forgotten area into a tourist attraction where people from all over the world can learn about the archaeological discoveries uncovered there, including remains of a bath dating back to the 1st Century AD, water reservoirs and a unique ancient Roman mosaic.

During their dig archaeologists were surprised by two things; firstly the technology, materials and designs used to create the baths were different from the way other Roman baths for soldiers had previously been built.

The second thing that interested them was the early age of the baths, as all other Roman structures discovered in Georgia were dated no less than one century later.

A Polish team of archaeologists started excavating the castle in 2002. Their geodesic and geophysical work enabled researchers to select an area that would most likely reveal future discoveries.

Meanwhile once all activities at the site ended and the facility opened for business, tickets to visit Gonio Fortress will be free for children under the age of six, for youth with disabilities, colleagues of Georgian and foreign museums, soldiers and internally placed persons.

The Gonio Fortress became part of the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia in 2008.