Historic discovery: Unique 11th-century floor uncovered at Ishkhani monastery
03 October, 2016
Historic discovery: Unique 11th-century floor uncovered at Ishkhani monastery
Few days ago, during restoration works at Ishkhani monastery, one of the greatest Georgian historic monuments in Tao-Klarjeti (once Georgian province and now Turkish territory) the researchers discovered centuries-old floor of the monastery. As Buba Kudava the former director of National Centre of Manuscripts says, part of the floor was first found three years ago, soon after the restoration works were launched and the first layer was removed in
the interior. Only few fragments were detected back then and soon the restorers covered it with sand again.

“Only after the Turkish restorers cleaned the entire floor of the monastery, it turned out that the whole ground was preserved in the west part of the church. Some pieces of the floor have survived under the dome and in the north and south parts of the church as well. As the researchers found out, the whole monastery was covered with such floor. As for the material, the floor was made with daub and decorated with white, red and black patterns.

Ishkhani monastery was first built in the 7th century, then in the 9th century the complex was rebuilt, in the 10th century it was expanded and in 1032 it was finally completed, under Georgian King Bagrat IV’s ruling, through Archbishop Anton Ishkhneli and architect Iovane Morchaisdze. Based on the monastery’s history, its floor was made during its reconstruction in 1032. It its noteworthy, that its floor has similar patterns like the ones in Bagrati Cathedral in Georgia's Kutaisi city , built during the reign of king Bagrat lll (hence the name) in the early 11th century, that have been also recently discovered. This discovery is very important, since neither Georgian church has preserved such old, sophisticated and masterfully decorated floor,” – Said the former director of National Centre of Manuscripts.
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