Satsurblia Cave

Cover image © National Parks of Georgia

Envision a mysterious cavern that whispers secrets from the ages past. Welcome to Satsurblia Cave, tucked only 1.2 km from the tranquil Kumistavi village. Elevated at 287 meters (942 feet) above sea level, this captivating site in Georgia's Imereti region reveals nature's magnificent artistry and tales of ancient human life.

Embarking on this journey, you'd find yourself at a 6 meters (20 feet) wide entrance, beckoning you into a world that once provided refuge during the Middle Ages. Traverse along the first tunnel, 80 meters (262 feet) of inclined wonder, with steps ascending 1 - 1.5 meters (3.3 - 5 feet) high. As you delve deeper, a grand chamber unveils itself, measuring a majestic 30 meters by 25 meters (98 feet by 82 feet), housing a flat plate that thickens to 5 meters (16 feet).

As a backdrop, dripping stalactites, rising stalagmites, travertines, and vast gourds of limestone craft a breathtaking tapestry. And while you're marveling at nature's artwork, consider this: these walls witnessed prehistoric humans, twice, around 25,500-24,400 BP and then 17,000-16,200 BP. This means they sought refuge here during periods of icy climatic extremes!

Amidst the rocky contours, archaeologists have uncovered a treasure trove: lithic artifacts reminiscent of eastern Epigravettian sites, charming stalagmite pendants, bovid bone artifacts, and vibrant traces of ochre. Interestingly, the Paleolithic menu here was eclectic, boasting wild boar, red deer, aurochs, bison, and even the occasional brown bear or beaver.

Yet, one of the cave's most intriguing finds was the temporal bone fragment of an ancient man, dating back around 13,300 BP. Modern genetics suggests he sported black hair, brown eyes but with a surprising genetic predisposition for blue eyes. What’s more, he shared genetic ties with the Caucasus Hunter-Gatherers, who intriguingly left their genetic mark on the Yamnaya people, forefathers to modern Europeans.

So, whether you're a history buff, nature enthusiast, or just plain curious, Satsurblia Cave promises a blend of nature's beauty and tales of bygone eras. Remember, though, to get there, you're looking at a serene 3-hour drive from Tbilisi, followed by a swift 10-minute jaunt from Tskaltubo to Kumistavi.

Nearest to Satsurblia Cave

Distances shown are straight-line, calculated automatically from coordinates, and may not reflect actual travel distance. They do not account for altitude, terrain, or obstacles. Not suitable for itinerary planning or emergencies. For entertainment use only.

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