Original Article

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 17, Supplement 1, pp 217-224

First online:

Botanical and zoological remains from an early medieval grave at Tsitsamuri, Georgia

  • Eliso KvavadzeAffiliated withInstitute of Palaeobiology of Georgian National Museum Email author 
  • , Luara RukhadzeAffiliated withInstitute of Palaeobiology of Georgian National Museum
  • , Vakhtang NikolaishviliAffiliated withArchaeological Institute of Mtskheta
  • , Levan MumladzeAffiliated withInstitute of Zoology

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A multidisciplinary analysis of pollen, seeds, mites and molluscs from organic remains in the Tsitsamuri burial (4th–6th century a.d.) provides strong evidence of the season of internment. The presence of Trifolium campestre flowers, abundant Achillea-type pollen, ripe seeds from various early summer flowering plants, remains of Acari mites and immature Helicella derbentina mollusc shells indicate that the burial took place in early summer. Textile fragments were also analysed and indicate that the body was wrapped in a shroud made of flax. The deceased was interred on a bed made of plants gathered from the local environment. The whole complex of botanical and zoological material indicates a cultural landscape in which agriculture, viticulture, horticulture and pasturing were carried out. The climate of that period was probably slightly wetter and warmer than today.


Archaeobotany Palynology Palaeoecology Molluscs Non-pollen palynomorphs