M.A. thesis topic: Georgian presence in the Holy Land from IV to XII centuries in the light of archaeological and historical sources
Advisors: Prof. Joseph Patrich (The Institute of Archaeology) and Prof. Konstantine Lerner (Dept. of Armenian Studies)
The research aims to investigate and to summarize the archaeological, epigraphic and historical data regarding the presence of Georgians (Iberians) in the Holy Land from IV to XII centuries CE. Being one of the oldest Christian communities of the world, Georgians were among the founders and residents of numerous monasteries and churches in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and their environs. The beginnings of Christian Georgian culture and literature and church liturgy are tightly connected with our region. The centuries of Georgian ecclesiastical presence and pilgrimage were recorded in numerous historical and hagiographic works, and left many material remains: church and monasteries buildings, cemeteries, monumental inscriptions and graffiti. This research will be focused on the summarizing and studying of available archaeological and historical evidence regarding the Georgian presence and activity in Jerusalem and Bethlehem area, Judean desert, Nazareth, Gaza, Transjordan and Sinai, in the period from the Christianization of Georgian state of Kartli in 331 CE up to the Crusader's conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 CE.