Homo erectus archaeological site in Dmanisi, Georgia, 9 August 2019

TL;DR

  • 5 lari by marshrutka (mini-bus/taxicab) from Samgori, Tbilisi. We got off the Samgori metro stop and asked around and people directed us to the bus station.
  • 2 hours from Tbilisi to Dmanisi.
  • 15-20 lari from Dmanisi to the archaeological site by taxi. It's 25km away.
  • Archaeological site closes at 5.30pm.
  • It might look closed when you arrive but go in anyway and talk to the police officers. They let us roam freely.
  • Last bus from Dmanisi back to Tbilisi is at 5pm. It's usually packed so maybe take the second-last bus just in case.
  • Best to go with a local because goodness knows how I'd have found the place without my local friend.

Why go there

If you like hominin prehistory. Otherwise, it's a small town. Nothing to see if you're a casual tourist.

Ok I'm here now what

Dmanisi would be an amazing setting for a Georgian Studio Ghibli style narrative. Ancient stone sculptures, bronze age settlement, hominin remains, tiny town, 7th and 13th century church styles fused into one, framed photograph of Stalin in the bus stop, lush surrounds, winding river, and farmland.

There are a couple of places with really cheap food but only if you're not vegetarian/vegan. For that, there's a restaurant that has salads and it's more expensive.

Other highlights

There's a chained up dog in the archaeological site that is, as is their wont, too excitable. We gave it some dog food and it stopped barking at us. I don't know why Lana walks around with a bag of dog food.

Pics

Sign to archaeological site says "museum"

The humble sign to the archaeological site says just "museum".

Site where the hominins were found.

Remember to read through the subjectivities of this place and writings about it. National pride skews how it's portrayed.

The first Europeans according to the site

I guess the first Europeans weren't white.

The site in general

The site in general. It's also a bronze age settlement.

Ancient stone sculpture

These ancient stone sculptures guide the winding roads. An appropriate setting for a Hayao Miyazaki style narrative.

View from top of bronze age settlement

Here we are on the top of an ancient, probably bronze age, settlement. The church merges 7th and 13 century elements, so said the priest.

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