If it can be said, unequivocally, that there is nothing like the Georgian language (written and spoken) in the world. In the family of Iberian-Caucasian tongues, Georgian is classified as a member of the Georgian language group. The Georgian language group is not similar to other groups of languages and is what is called a language isolate.
Georgian has three different scripts. The ancient script is called Asomtavruli and samples are found on early historical monuments. Because of its round form, it is sometimes referred to as "Mrglovani". The Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik is the earliest surviving book in the Georgian language.
The Nuskhuri script became widely used beginning in the 9th century. But we, Georgians have been using Mkhedruli script for the past ten centuries. The earliest known use of this script is on an inscription in the Ateni Sioni Church that dates back to 982–986.
Georgian is spoken by up to five million people and each sound equates to a letter in spoken Georgian. All the letters and their sounds are pronounced exactly as they are written. If you listen to Georgian speech, you’ll notice the harmony that exists in all the languages on earth.
The world owes a debt of gratitude to Georgia, the home of wine. Georgian soil is where winemaking began. Archaeological evidence suggests that this began around 8,000 years ago. Georgia has a characteristic winemaking method: fermenting wine in qvevri (clay vessel) and using the skins of white grapes during the fermentation that results in amber wine colour. Of the thousands of grape varieties in the world, 525 are unique to Georgia.
Georgian wine has left an indelible impression on every traveler who has ever visited the country. The linguists point to the widespread adoption of the word "ghvino" ("wine") in languages around the world (van, wine, vino, vinio, viino, vinia, wein...). Similarly, in Georgian mythology, God first created the vine and then created man.
One sad but interesting fact preserved by history is that the invaders of Georgia used to cut vines as their warfare strategy. People were very sorrowful after this because Georgian wine is a divine beverage, consumed on all social and ceremonial occasions.
Scientific evidence indicates that Georgia is also the world's oldest wheat producer. Wheat cultivation in Georgian territory likely began some 5,000 years ago, according to archaeological and anthropological records. Here, specific tools were found that were used to grow and process wheat.
Of the 27 cultivated species in the wheat genus, 14 can be found in modern-day Georgia. There are also 5 endemic Georgian species in this genus, meaning that more than 70% of the wheat species that are common in the world today contain Georgian genes.
Although it has not been conclusively established, the most likely origin of cheese is Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Cheesemaking in Europe is connected with the strengthening of the Roman Empire.
Cheesemaking has been traced back to 5,500 BCE in Czechia, where the earliest archaeological evidence of cheese was discovered. But a cheese storage vessel dating back 8,000 years, has been discovered during archaeological digs in Georgia. Researchers now have a reason to believe that Georgia is the birthplace of cheese in addition to wine and wheat.
Georgia is home to 60 distinct varieties of cheese. Each one of them is certainly worth trying.
Georgian territory is considered the oldest center of iron production. You will read in the Bible that the tribes living here have been engaged in iron production since ancient times. Ancient Greek and other historical sources will tell you the same. Archeological excavations of iron furnaces have confirmed that iron production on the territory dates back to the beginning of the second half of the II millennium BC.
Some scientists believe that Georgia is the oldest gold-mining country. Archaeologists found a 33,000 BC gold mine near Kazreti township in Bolnisi municipality. The first works on Sakdrisi-Kachagiani Hill were carried out in the later 20th century. The mine was destroyed at a later date, but an archaeological expedition between Georgia and Germany confirmed that it had been operating as a gold mine as early as 3,350 B.C.
Up until the world-class discovery made in the Dzudzuana cave in Georgia, the nettle thread found in Dolnivestonica in the Czech Republic was considered the oldest thread. However, the research conducted in Chiatura municipality changed everything. Flax thread dating back 34,000 years was discovered in a cave in Zemo Imereti. Furthermore, the laboratory confirmed that locals practiced successful flax cultivation and even used natural dyes to color the fibers.
According to historical sources, beekeeping was a developed culture in Colchis Kingdom, now the western part of Georgia, as early as the 4th millennium BCE.
In terms of both flavor and medicinal value, Georgian honey is widely considered the best product available in today's global market.
Currently, there are three distinct styles of beekeeping practiced in Georgia: wild beekeeping - when hunters go to the forest specifically to collect honey and wax; semi-wild beekeeping - when burly bee families are brought home from the forest and then placed in a designated place in the forest or rock with special wooden logs and clay pots; and domestic beekeeping - when the life and productivity of bees are controlled in a special house, in a hive.
Since the Caucasian gray honey bee (Apis mellifera caucasica) has the world's longest body, it also has the highest honey production. Its uniqueness was confirmed at the international horticultural exhibition held in Germany in 1961. The 97.3 kilograms of honey that were harvested by two families in Georgia earned them first place and a gold medal. This record was repeated by the Georgian bee at the 1965 and 1971 exhibitions.
The bee's proboscis, measured at 7.23 mm in length, is largely responsible for its success. The grey bee can now more efficiently pollinate many plants while also enjoying the nectar of the flower. In addition, the advantages of the gray bee include its moderate density, resistance to low temperatures, and gentleness. As they say, honey is delicious in a different way.
The Georgian sheep is a direct offspring of pure wool sheep that lived in Georgia during the time of the Argonauts. They are widespread in both western and eastern Georgia. Georgian sheep is known for its meat, milk, and wool.
There is both secular and religious significance attached to sheep in Georgian culture. Try the lamb chakapuli, a specialty of Eastern Georgia prepared with herbs, sour plums and white wine, and don't forget to bring home some traditional woolen hats, socks, and scarves.
Tushetian sheep account for a sizable portion of Georgia's total sheep population. The Tushetian sheep is an ancient Georgian breed, bred from the XIII-XIV centuries. Tushetian sheep have coarse wool and are distinguished for their taste.
Developed over 2,000 years ago, the Georgian shepherd breed has a stellar reputation as a protective and trustworthy shepherd dog. In the past, the Georgian shepherd was also taken to battle but today, its purpose is protection. It deters wild animals and keeps sheep safe while also protecting human property.
There are two main types of Georgian shepherds - short-haired, Meskhur-Javakhuri, and long-haired Tushetian. In general, they are described as of medium height, rough build, large, very strong, and of great endurance. Males reach 105-110 cm in length, females - 102-105 cm, and their height is 65 and 60 cm, respectively. You will find gray, brown, black, white, mixed as well as straw-colored shepherds.
It's no exaggeration to say that the Georgian shepherd is a noble and hardy canine. Georgian shepherds are faithful companions and hard-working watchdogs.
The silkworm spread to Georgia from China three thousand years ago, and since that time, sericulture has become an integral part of the history and culture of Georgia. Georgia has known the secret of making silk thread since the fourteenth century AD.
"Georgia had an important place in the area of the Silk Road," - Chinese travelers wrote about this. Silkworm breeds are divided into five main groups according to their geographical origin: West Asian, European, Japanese, Chinese, and Caucasian.
Georgian silk, grown on the territory, is characterized by special qualities. The fabric made with cold-rolled thread from the park of Georgian varieties of Mulberry Silk has received the Platinum Star European Quality Award. Georgian silk has been given the status of an intangible cultural monument.
Sweet brotherhood, long life, happiness, victory, and world peace are the wishes made when a Georgian host serves wine to a guest. Victory and longevity are the main lines of another Georgian polyphonic song. The song "Chakrulo" was recorded on a gold plate that has been traveling in space for forty years.
Sending you wishes of peace and longevity, as expressed in the traditional Georgian songs.