GEORGIA: Gadachrili Gora
Monday, May 7 to Saturday June 16, 2018 (6 weeks)
Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Expedition
This will be the second year of the University of Toronto’s summer program in Georgia. The Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Expedition (GRAPE) is an international multidisciplinary research project investigating the emergence of farming economies in the South Caucasus and the influence of the Near East on the development of local Neolithic cultures and, conversely, the influence of Caucasia on the Near East. This program provides a unique opportunity to receive intensive training in archaeological field and survey methods at the sites of Gadachrili Gora.
Be part of the research team that uncovered the earliest evidence of winemaking! The 2017 Summer Abroad Program in Georgia took park in this incredible discovery under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Batiuk and Andrew Graham, Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Expedition (GRAPE). The 2018 Summer Abroad Program in Georgia will continue to offer students a rare opportunity to contribute to the search for the origins of wine production.
IMPORTANT: Spaces in the course are limited.
- Over the past 20 years Dr. Stephen Batiuk and Andrew Graham have been directing excavations at a number of sites across the Near East, Europe and Africa training students on archaeological field methods in both excavation and survey.
- In 2016, they led the first GRAPE expedition to Georgia, where University of Toronto students joined the team to resume excavations at Gadachrili Gora and the search for evidence of early wine production.
- Students who participate in the Summer Abroad program will be trained in the latest archaeological field methods and will participate in the investigation of ancient and modern wine production, craft production, lithic industries, local/regional exchange networks and domestic architecture.
- The important discoveries made by GRAPE and its international partners thus far have drawn the attention of the international media, and prospective students will have a unique opportunity to contribute greatly to the search for the origins of wine production in the beautiful Republic of Georgia.
The University of Toronto will offer one course in Georgia, worth one full-year credit. Field trips are an integral part of the course and are mandatory. The course has limited space and is contingent on adequate enrolment.
NMC261Y0: Special Topics: Field Archaeology in The Republic of Georgia
This course is designed as a general practicum in archaeological field methods. As a field course, emphasis will be placed on active participation in the ongoing research of the Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Expedition (G.R.A.P.E.) in the Republic of Georgia. Students will receive extensive training in excavation methods, recording procedures, and the preliminary processing of artifacts. There will be several weekend field trips exploring the archaeology and culture of the region which will supplement the primary focus on fieldwork experience. All students are eligible to participate. No prior field experience is necessary.
This is a Humanities course; one half credit BR=1 and one half credit BR=3
NMC261Y0 Preliminary Course Syllabus
Equipment: While most equipment will be provided, each student must bring their own trowel (preferably 5” blade; Marshalltowns are the choice for most archaeologists) a personal measuring tape (6 meters, not feet), a 3 ring binder, a black physics notebook, and pens/pencils, etc. While not a required item, a personal laptop for database and image work is convenient. Accepted students will receive a more comprehensive equipment list prior to departing Canada.
Dr. Stephen Batiuk received his PhD in Near Eastern Archaeology in 2005. With over 20 years of fieldwork experience he has participated in over 12 different archaeological projects from CRM (Cultural Resource Management) work in Canada to projects in Ethiopia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Romania, France and most recently, the Republic of Georgia. His more recent publications and research are focused on understanding not only the origins of wine production in the Caucasus region (specifically Georgia) but perhaps more importantly, the spread of this early Georgian wine culture across the entire Near East and eventually the rest of the world. Dr. Batiuk brings a whole suite of skills in landscape and materials analysis, particularly ancient ceramics. He is currently employed by the University of Toronto as a Research Associate in the Archaeology Centre.
Mr. Andrew Graham received his MA in Near Eastern Archaeology in 1999. He is currently a doctoral candidate for a PhD in Near Eastern Archaeology focusing on ancient ceramic technology and how that relates or informs on ancient societies. Mr. Graham has over 17 years of fieldwork experience working on 6 different archaeological projects from CRM work in Canada to projects in Greece, Jordan and the Republic of Georgia. Upon receiving his Bachelors in Near Eastern Archaeology in 1989, Mr. Graham pursued a career in Banking and Finance assuming ever increasing positions of responsibility in accounting, business analysis and operations management. Like Dr. Batiuk, Mr. Graham also brings a suite of skills focused on materials analysis (ceramics) as well as educational pedagogy related to archaeological field schools. He is currently employed by the University of Toronto Mississauga as the Lab Manager for the Li Koon Chun Finance Learning Centre.
Monday, May 7 to Saturday June 16, 2018 (6 weeks)
Gadachrili Gora is a Neolithic village located on the Shulaveris Ghele, a tributary of the Khrami River near the city of Marneuli in the Kvemo Kartli region of the Republic of Georgia. The excavations are undertaken by the Georgian National Museum, under the directorship of Mindia Jalabadze. Gadachrili Gora forms part of a trio of Neolithic villages, including Shulaveris and Imeri Gora. These villages have been dated to the 6th millennium and are part of the Shulaveris-Shomu Culture (SSC), which can be found across central Caucasia, and represents one of the earliest known Neolithic cultures of the region.
Significant genetic density of different types of certain domesticated plants found in the South Caucasus today has led many to consider this region an important ancient center for the domestication and diversification of various cultivated plants. With over 500 varieties of grape, the one of largest in the world, it has long been suggested that Transcaucasia is the ancient homeland of the vine.
Excavations at Gadachrili Gora were initially undertaken in the 1960’s by the Georgian State Museum. In 2006–07 and again in 2012–13 excavations were re-initiated by the Georgian National Museum (in conjunction with the CNRS of France). These excavations have so far uncovered some of the earliest examples of domesticated grape pips, dating to approximately 5950 BCE. In addition, recent efforts have uncovered some of the largest circular mud-brick buildings dating to this period found to date, further suggesting the importance of Gadachrili Gora in the Neolithic landscape.
The excavations are sponsored by the Georgian Wine Association and the National Wine Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture under the umbrella of a larger international project entitled “Research and Popularization of Georgian Grape and Wine Culture” which aims to investigate the roots of wine production in the ancient world.
There will be several weekly field trips around the region, visiting other archaeological and historical sites, as well as wineries and museums.
• Welcome and Farewell Georgian Supra
• Experimental archaeology sessions – pottery and lithic manufacture
• Occasional campfires
• Local community engagement at several public events (e.g., Georgian Independence Day – May 26th)
Weather, Attire and Health
May and June are late spring months in the Republic of Georgia and weather patterns can be highly variable – from clear and hot to wet and cold in a short period of time. Nevertheless, the area we will be working in is generally comfortable and very similar to what we experience here in Toronto at the same time of year. The afternoons are characterized by highs of 23–25°C, while the evenings and mornings can be cool (lows of 12–17°C). Field archaeology students must be in excellent health and willing to work long, physically demanding days. If you are under medical care of any kind, you are advised to consult with a physician before going to Georgia. All health concerns should be discussed with the Professional & International Programs office prior to submitting your application form.
It is imperative that students bring comfortable work clothes – in particular, rugged hiking shoes, long pants and a hat are all very necessary items. Students are encouraged to pack for highly variable weather conditions. Significant amounts of rain can alter work schedules (you can’t dig what you can’t see) and comfortable light rain gear is highly recommended. Students must also bring a bottle of strong sun block and a durable water bottle. We also require you bring your own sleeping bag. A more extensive list will be sent to all accepted participants.
Important: All participants are required to submit a completed signed Medical Clearance Form after admission to the program and to attend an in-person pre-departure orientation in Toronto.
Accommodation and Meals
Students will stay in farmhouses in a local village near the site. This is an expedition so please note that our accommodations are very comfortable, but rustic. Breakfast, lunch (sandwiches, tomatoes, cucumbers and fruit) and dinner will be provided seven days a week. There may be several free days (Sunday) when students will be able to travel to Tbilisi. Students who choose to do so will be responsible for their own food and lodging while away.
Accommodation availability at the site: Monday, May 7 to Saturday June 16, 2018
• Internet (wifi)
• Laundry (all washing is done by hand)
• Shared, dormitory style (gender segregated)
• Vegan diets cannot be accommodated.
No group flight is available for this program; students must make their own travel arrangements. Students will be picked up at Freedom Square in Tblisi on May 3rd and dropped of at the same location on June 10th. Detailed travel information will be provided to students after admission.
Entry Requirements for Visitors to Georgia
All students are responsible for making sure that their necessary travel documents are in order. Information on entry requirements to Georgian is available from the Georgian Embassy in Ottawa: http://canada.mfa.gov.ge
At of the time of publication (December 2017), Canadians do not require a tourist visa to enter Georgia. Citizens of other countries may have additional requirements.
Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)
All students admitted to the Summer Abroad program are required to successfully complete an online PDO, which will provide general information and advice on international health and safety issues. Students must also attend the in-person Georgia PDO on April 10 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at which they will receive site-specific health and safety information, a course syllabus, Student Handbook, and detailed program information (e.g., about accommodation, services, facilities, and travel instructions to and from the airport). Attendance at this PDO is mandatory for all participants in the Georgia summer program.
The deadlines for fees payable to the University of Toronto are as follows:
- Application fee: due February 1, 2018
- Non-Refundable Deposit of $1,000 due two weeks after admission notification
- All remaining fee: due March 16, 2018
Cost of Studying in Georgia
|Application Fee||$200||Paid at time of application|
|Domestic Students||$1,725||Includes $1,000 deposit|
|International Students||$2,880||Includes $1,000 deposit|
|U of T Incidental Fees||$175||Estimate based on 2017 part-time summer fees|
|Field School Fee||$3,500||Includes transportation, meals and accommodation|
|Airfare||$1,354||Estimate – will depend on departure location and purchase date|
|Medical Travel Insurance||variable||Students must provide proof of medical travel insurance|
|Miscellaneous Expenses||variable||All students should budget for miscellaneous expense (e.g. travel, gifts, etc.)|
|Approximate TOTAL Program Cost INCLUDING field trips|
|Domestic Students||$6,954||This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance|
|International Students||$8,109||This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance|
The following assistance is available for eligible students in this program. For additional awards and further details please see the Financial Aid section of the Summer Abroad website.
• Summer Abroad Bursary (two awards at $3,000 each)
A detailed information session for the summer program in Georgia will be held on the UofT St. George campus in January. This session provides an excellent opportunity to hear from previous participants, see photos, and ask any questions that you may have.
Date: Thursday, January 11, 2018 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm
Location: Woodsworth College Residence, in Waters Lounge, 321 Bloor Street West (SE corner of St. George and Bloor)