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International Conference in Vardzia

The 12th International Young Archaeologists’ Conference was held in Vardzia, a cave monastery site in southern Georgia. The conference was organized by the Institute of Archaeology at the Faculty of Humanities of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU). The event was dedicated to the 90th anniversary of Professor Otar Lortkipanidze, a famous Georgian archaeologist. Both Georgian and foreign academics and students presented their reports on recent studies. Rector of TSU, George Sharvashidze and invited guests attended the conference.


“It is important that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of participants arrived in Vardzia to attend the conference. Very interesting materials will be presented and current issues of global archaeology will be discussed here. I am sure that the conference will be very interesting and informative. Along with our scientists, a lot of young people are participating in the conference. I am sure that foreign guests who are attending the conference as well as our scientists and students will have interesting topics to share,” Rector Sharvashidze said.


The participants of the conference held discussions about various studies conducted in archaeology and contiguous fields. Reports were presented by representatives of Tbilisi State University, Georgian National Museum, Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of Dagestan, Herzen State Pedagogical University, as well as National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia), Tuscia University (Italy), Durham University (Great Britain), Oxford University (Great Britain) and Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany).


TSU Professor Vakhtang Licheli said that “the purpose of the conference is to prepare young Georgian archaeologists for integration into international science area. Young Georgian archaeologists will present their studies conducted over the past year. The studies will be evaluated by a relevant scientific commission. These activities have already yielded positive results, because I can say bluntly that all those young people who went through the Vardzia conference are now successful on international arena.”


The Vardzia conference is very popular among European and American universities. Representatives of various universities, museums, research centers from more than 10 countries attend it annually.


Prof. Dr. Annegret Plontke-Lüning of Friedrich Schiller University Jena hailed the conference as “important,” saying that TSU and the University of Jena have a multiyear experience of collaboration. She also expressed hope that the conference would make an important contribution to this collaboration.


The annual Vardzia conference promotes the establishment of contracts between young archaeologists, the popularization of their studies globally and integration of Georgian student archaeologists into the international science area.