The Red-lacquered ceramics of the Late Antique-Pre-Byzantine period Discovered in the Gonio-Apsaros area in 2018-2022


  • Tamaz Darchidze



The article explores red-lacquered ceramics discovered in Gonio-Apsaros in recent years. The southwestern Georgia has yielded many diverse red-lacquered ceramics from the ancient and late antique periods, less from the early Byzantine era. However, recently more have been discovered, forming an intriguing category within the kitchenware. Being imported goods, they provide insights into the region's interactions with the world.
The fragments of bowls (Late Roman C) including mouth, body, base, mouth-wall, fit into three distinct forms (10A, 10C, 3G/F) identified by Hayes. They are defined by orange, fine-grained ware, flared body and a mouth of varying cross-sections, separated by a delicate groove, traces of reddish varnish on the inside. A bowl fragment bears a cross-shaped mark with rings and can be associated with the types 67 and 68 of Hayes (LRC), with thickened, upturned mouths of polygonal or quadrangular cross-sections, light reddish-brown and fine-grained ware with occasional admixtures, somtimes remnants of pinkish-reddish varnish.

2019Due to the Byzantine Empire's expansion eastward, parts of Lazica became influenced by Byzantine economy, culture, politics. Apsaros fell within the Byzantine borders from the late 5th century. The growing discovery of materials near the Roman castle highlights the newfound significance of Apsaros increasing interest in it.
keywords: Late Antiquity-Early-Byzantine period, South-west Georgia, Ceramics, Red-lacquered ceramics