The Georgian Gospel-Palimpsest included in UNESCO Memory of the World Register
06 December, 2017
The Georgian Gospel-Palimpsest included in UNESCO Memory of the World Register
The Georgian Gospel-Palimpsest, kept in the National Archives of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, has been added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The decision was made by the UNESCO Memory of the World International Advisory Committee,
which was convened in Paris on 24-27 October.

The Georgian manuscript is among 78 collections and documents that were added to the registry in 2017.

The new study of the parchment discovered three layers to the text. The two top layers are in the Nuskhuri script which first appeared in the ninth century, and the third in the Asomtavruli script, which is the oldest Georgian script, dating to at least the fifth century. Both scripts are used exclusively by the Georgian Orthodox Church.

The two upper layers are copies of the Gospel of one of Georgia’s most venerated saints, George Mtatsmindeli, also known as George of Iveron and George the Athonite (1009-1065). He was a Georgian monk and author of spiritual texts and translated several editions of the Bible into Georgia, serving as a link between Georgia and Byzantium. Scientists are still working to identify the third layer.

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The Gospel came to the National Museum of Georgia in 1924 from the Church of the Mother of God in the village of Tortiza in the Gori region, fifty-six miles northwest of Tbilisi. In older descriptions of the manuscript it is spoken of as from the fourteenth century, but researchers have found evidence from the ninth-tenth centuries, twelfth-thirteenth, fourteenth, and sixteenth-seventeenth centuries.

All three stages of the Georgian alphabet are presented in the manuscript. The oldest layer that is determined by IX-X centuries is written in Asomtavruli, the second and third layers (XII-XIV cc) - Nuskhuri, and the willers of the XIII-XVIII centuries - The manuscript is well decorated: Minutes of the Holy Mate evangelist, Saint Marko evangelist, Saint John the Evangelist and the Holy Prosecutor. The beginning of the Gospels is lined up by the animals. The upper layer and the emulator - someone Giorgi, and the benefactor is a monk.

In 2011, a collection of about 1,000 Byzantine manuscripts from Georgia were included in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” list.

Georgian blue tablecloth granted UNESCO material monument status

Georgian feast has been given intangible cultural heritage status

Georgian alphabet added to the UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage Representative List
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