Gelati Monastery Georgia

Splendors of Georgia & Armenia

September 5 — 24, 2014

Led by Dr. Tasha Vorderstrasse, Research Associate
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The south Caucasus is a complex region filled with many languages, peoples, and cultures. It is a place where many cultures and religions have come into contact over the centuries. Join the Oriental Institute for a tour of the countries of Georgia and Armenia, through tall mountains and medieval churches, ancient ruins and tower houses. These are lands of contrast and this tour will examine the entire history of these countries, allowing you to fully experience them.

Join the Oriental Institute on a unique tour of the archaeology, landscape, and culture of Georgia and Armenia. In Georgia, we will visit the medieval ruins of Dmanisi, where Homo erectus skeletons have been found, the mountains region of Svaneti with its soaring towers, medieval Byzantine wall paintings, Napoleonic memorabilia in Zugdidi, and Stalin’s birthplace in Gori. We will also enjoy the opportunity to experience Georgian culture, including musical and dance performances, for which the Georgians are world famous.

In Armenia, we will visit some of the many archaeological sites that fill the country, prehistoric standing stones, the magnificent Roman temple of Garni, medieval monasteries, and a recently discovered Jewish cemetery. Again, we will have the opportunity to explore the heritage of Armenia through its music and dance. Participants in this tour will not only have the opportunity to see the highlights but also experience out-of-the-way places that tourists often do not visit.

Tasha Vorderstrasse is a Research Associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2004 and was a Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for the Near East in Leiden before returning to Chicago in 2011. Her work focuses on the material culture of the Near East, Caucasus, and Central Asia and the interactions between these regions and China. She is co-director of the Oriental Institute excavations in Amroyi, Armenia.

For additional information about the tour, call the Oriental Institute on (773) 834-9777 or email For questions about bookings, call Archaeological Tours at (866) 740-5130 or email To join our e-mail notification list for Oriental Institute Travel Programs, please send your name and e-mail address to