Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 17, Supplement 1, pp 217–224 | Cite as

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

  • Eliso Kvavadze
  • Luara Rukhadze
  • Vakhtang Nikolaishvili
  • Levan Mumladze
Original Article


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 

Supplementary material

334_2008_183_MOESM1_ESM.tif (8 mb)
Fig. 5. Reconstruction of the Tsitsamuri grave at the time of burial. The manner in which the corpse is shrouded is based on discussions with Prof. Pierre Dumoulin, Theological Institute, Tbilisi; artwork: Elene Bukhnikashvili (TIF 7.98 MB)
334_2008_183_MOESM2_ESM.doc (3.1 mb)
Plates 1–9 (DOC 3176 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliso Kvavadze
    • 1
  • Luara Rukhadze
    • 1
  • Vakhtang Nikolaishvili
    • 2
  • Levan Mumladze
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Palaeobiology of Georgian National MuseumTbilisi 8Georgia
  2. 2.Archaeological Institute of MtskhetaMtskhetaGeorgia
  3. 3.Institute of ZoologyTbilisi 97Georgia

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