გობექლი თეფეს გათხრები. ფოტო:DAI.წყარო:daist.blog

Gobekli Tepe excavation area. photo: DAI. Source:dainst.blog

ნევალი ჩორის გათხრები. წყარო: researchgate.net

Nevali Cori excavation area. Ref.: researchegate.net

ოჯახის ფუძის სვეტი სოფელ კანასირაგიდან,დაღესტანი.
წყარო: Старый аварский дом, Мовчан Г., ДМК,2001

Familiy Root-pilar, Kanasirag, Dagestan. Source: Старый аварский дом, Мовчан Г., ДМК,2001

დედაბოძი, დუშეთი, საქართველო. ლონგინოზ სუმბაძე, Архитектура грузинского народного жилища дарбази. მეცნიერება, 1984

Dedabodzi from Dusheti, Georgia. Longinoz Sumbadze, Архитектура грузинского народного жилища дарбази.

გობექლი თეფე.სამტეხლოზე მიტოვებული სვეტი.(Photo: © DAI)tepetelegrams.wordpress.com

Gobekli Tepe. T-shaped pillar left in the quarries.(Photo: © DAI) tepetelegrams.wordpress.com

ქვისა და ხის T-სვეტების (დედაბოძების) სამუშაო მოცულობა

Stone and wooden T-pillars workload diagram

გობექლი თეფე. T-ფორმის ქვის სვეტი. წყარო:(Photo Berthold Steinhilber. Ref: researchgate.net)

Gobekli Tepe. T-shaped pillar. (Photo Berthold Steinhilber. Ref: researchgate.net)

ხის სვეტი ავღანეთიდან. წყარო:pinterest.ca

T-shaped wooden pillar from Afghanistan. Source: pinterest.ca

ქართული დარბაზი. ხის დედაბოძი

Georgian Darbazi. Wooden Dedabodzi (Mother-Pillar)

ქართული დარბაზი, სოფელი დიღომი. ნ.სევეროვის ფასადი, ჭრილი და გეგმა

Georgian Darbazi from village Dighomi. Facade, section and plan by N.Severov

ყარაღაჯის დარბაზი. ნ.სევეროვისა და ლ.სუმბაძის მიხედვით

Georgian Darbazi from village Karagaji after N.Severov and L.Sumbadze

ქართული დარბაზის ინტერიერი

Interior of Georgian Darbazi (Domed Hall) with Dedabodzi (Mother-Pillar) and Gvirgvini (Crown)

ინტერიერი, ბალტიტ ფორტი, ჰუნზა, პაკისტანი. ფოტო: mhtoori. წყარო.:commons.wikimedia.org

Inside of Baltit Fort Hunza, Pakistan. Author: mhtoori. Ref.:commons.wikimedia.org

ნევალი ჩორი. რეკონსტრუქციის ვარიანტები ჰაუპტმანის მიხედვით, 1993, 1999. წყარო: researchgate.net

Nevali Cori. Reconstructions after Hauptmann, 1993, 1999. Ref.: researchgate.net

მარცხნივ:გობექლი თეფეს მოდელი, ავტორი ფერნანდო ბაპტისტა. წყარო:nationalgeographic.com მარჯვნივ:სახურავის რეკონსტრუქცია ედუარდ ბანინგის. წყარო:researchgate.net

left: Gobekli Tepe model created by Fernando Baptista.Source: nationalgeographic.com right: reconstruction of the roof framing by Edward Banning. Source: researchgate.net

ნევალი ჩორი. გიორგი მარგიშვილის სქემატური რეკონსტრუქციის ვარიანტი.

Nevali Cori. Reconstruction proposal diagram by Giorgi Margishvili

გობექლი თეფე. გიორგი მარგიშვილის სქემატური რეკონსტრუქციის ვარიანტი.

Gobekli Tepe. Reconstruction proposal Diagram by Giorgi Margishvili

From Gobekli Tepe and Nevali Cori to Georgian Crowned Dwelling. Architect Giorgi Margishvili’s Opinion

There is no doubt that the Darbazi (the Domed Hall) houses with Dedabodzi (Mother-Pillar), Gvirgvini (Crown) have a long history. It’s early examples are also revealed in Georgia – Imiris Gora, Shulaveris Gora, Qvatskhelebi, Amiranis Gora, etc. and they are 5-6 thousand years old. This kind of the dwelling can still be found on area between Caucasus and India. There is a variety of buildings under Darbazi typology; however, they share the same or similar characters.
Since Darbazi type of the dwelling was widely spread in various parts of Georgia, it’s research has a big tradition locally2. It is important to note, that as Darbazi represents continuous archaic tradition (the memory of ancestors) and purity of Family, so do any of it’s parts: Dedabodzi (pillar), Gvirgvini (Crown), Erdo (zenith window/), Keria (hearth), Bani (terrace), ornaments, furniture, etc., all bear sacral-symbolic functions.
By the end of the 20th century remains of oldest building structures with T-form pillars were revealed in the southern part of current Turkey. A part of them is being researched, while the part is still unexplored. The society which created this culture highly exceed by development the other types of dwellings in the same period.
Among the T-pillar structures the best known is the complex of Gobekli Tepe3, a well-preserved system of circular structure from X millennium B.C., and The remains of Nevali Cori, which is rectangular in plan. Both of these buildings share some similarities with contemporary crowned houses: Buildings are partially buried, have twin T-pillars in the center of the space and these pillars are decorated with symbolic or cosmogonic ornaments. Shelves are placed along the perimeter walls. The function of these buildings is not determined, although their ritualistic function is undoubted.
We would like to review the similarities between these two landmarks, and propose a probable “cognate” links between them by architectural and structural comparison with double-pillar crowned houses spread in Georgia using physical (archaeological) and ethnological data.
Most of the Dedabodzi pillars found in Georgia (Caucasus) are rectangular in section and trapezoidal in elevation, wider to the top. In some cases, probably in early examples, both capitals and the pillars are carved out of one log. From constructability point of view, or manpower, it would be much easier to make and install a round or squared off log, rather than carving a trapezoidal shape. The latter requires a bigger/wider log and more workload, especially if both, capitals and pillars are carved out from one solid log.
The same logic applies to ancient stone T-pillars. Pillars from Gobekli Tepe are 3-6 meter tall and weight 10-30 tons. Cutting the pillar and its capital from one solid mass would be heavy job, rather than making cylindrical or square parts and assembling on place.
Sides of both wooden and stone pillars are much thinner, than the face part. Most of both wooden and stone pillars are covered with cosmogonic, sacral symbols/shapes. It might be worth mentioning, that symbols and forms are similar on pillars found from Caucasus to Pamir5. T (tau) symbol comes from ancient times and is used with similar meanings in different times, cultures and people6. Since from constructability stand-point T-shape rectangular-trapezia pillars are not pragmatic, we believe that their use should be connected with ancient sacral traditions. The symbolic ornaments and trapezoidal geometry of these pillars gives us a reason to think that the present-day wooden pillars have a link with ancient stone analogues.
A non-pragmatic resolution of a structure appears also in Georgian double-pillar (Dedabodzi) crowned halls (Darbazi) where unusual (?) decisions are made: 1. The crown is built by using large quantity of wooden beams. A similar result could be achieved by connecting sloped wooden logs and arranging the roofing on it, what would require less labour and materials; 2. The crown is supported in the middle of the beam between the capital and the wall, which increases the section of the beam to burry the weight of the crown. It would be easier to arrange the crown on 4 pillars (there are plenty of such examples) or between the pillar and side walls. This fact also gives us the reason to think that this kind of crown construction had an untouchable, traditional sacral meaning.
The researchers developed reconstruction diagrams of Gobekli Type and Nevali Cori. We would like to challenge these diagrams since we believe that they don’t represent the level of sophistication of the structure). The reason for it could be the fact that international scientific society has a limited knowledge of Georgian (South Caucasian, Pamir) crowned dwelling typology, its history and rich ancient ethnography, because most of the scientific studies are edited only in Russian, or local languages.
There are shelves along the walls, similar to shelving found in nowadays crowned houses. The substantial difference with nowadays buildings is that central pillars are higher than the ones along the perimeter7, what is not observed in crowned houses.
Both places were abandoned for unknown reasons. Before leaving, Gobekli Tepe was filled up with dirt. In the world history there are plenty of examples of mysteriously abandoned places8.
The fact that no roofing remains have been found in Gobekli Tepe and Nevali Cori puzzle the scientists. (Based on Georgian (Caucasian) ethnographic data) We assume that roofing construction (beams and the crown) were taken to a new settlement/location by the inhabitants. According to Georgian (Caucasian) ethnographic material, before a family moved to a new location, they held a certain ritual. After that they carried their Dedabodzi and hearth, as well as the main beam or the crown (sometimes all four elements) to the new place in honor to keep continuity with their ancestors and roots9.
Deep marks and semi-circular notches on T-pillars indicate that they were intended for load bearing, grabbing, or connecting other structural members. The layout of the pillars also allow us to imagine the roofing with more precision.
We analyzed the rectilinear structure of Nevali Cori, and later the circular structure of Gobekli Tepe according to the archaeological/scientific data, similarities with crown houses and existing reconstruction diagrams.
This exercise allowed us develop a reconstruction diagram of our own, and make an assumption that Nevali Cori and Gobekli Tepe should have had crown roofing, and that Georgian/Caucasian, Iranian and Pamir crown houses take origin from this tradition.
Presented opinion is the first attempt to raise a possibility of relationship between the crowned dwellings with pillars, which are found on territory from Caucasus to Pamir and the constructions from X-IX millennium B.C.. We believe that this hypothesis requires a further and more precise study by international interdisciplinary joint research.

Clarifications and references:
1. Dedabodzi-Gvirgvini-erdo Darbazi (hall) type houses can be found with 1, 2, 3, or 4 pillars; Crown sits on wooden columns along the perimeter; crowns are seen in different heights and quantity of edges. There is either shelving or build-in cupboards along the walls.
2. Crowned Darbazi dwellings, their history, symbolic meaning and connections were researched by G.Chubinashvili, F.Baumhauer, G.Chitaia, L.Sumbadze, T.Chiqovani, M.Andreev, Al.Javakhishvili, L,Ghlonti, G.Kipiani, S.Lezhava and many others.
3. The Tepe Telegrams https://tepetelegrams.wordpress.com/
4. Datvi (Georgian, Bear) – the star above which the skies rotate (turn). Dictionary of S-S Orbeliani
5. Meanings of these inscriptions and their origin need to be studied separately. We would like to stress, that their connections with the sky and stars should not be surprising, since the crown itself was considered as the symbol of the sky. Through the crown one could observe the sky, connect with God, calculate time and predict weather, fortune-tell and soothsay, etc.
6. The meanings of T-symbol: T-pillars in Gobekli Tepe, Nevali Cori, Karahan Tepe, etc.; Alachahyiuk bas-relief – altar (?); South America – Tree of life; Ireland – stone T-crosses; China – ritual dress with life-phases; Masons – Solomon’s hexagram and myth about Hiram, architect of Solomon’s Temple; Old Egypt – Ankh (life); Old Testament – fore-head depiction (Ezekiels, Kenites); Mathematics – Golden Section, circle perimeter to radius (2 π); Life (life tree; Reincarnation; Wisdom; Letter in Greek and Jewish alphabets; Cross variety; Adige symbol Habze; Central pillars (from Caucasus to Pamir) of crown type houses (House of Unit in Georgia) – Dedabodzi (Mother-pillar) / Tree of Life / Tree of Cognition in Georgia, Pillar of Family Roots in Avaria, Dagestan; etc.
7. The connection of this kind of construction with dome roofing of religious buildings needs to be studied.
8. Possible reason for unexpected resettlement can be explained by information preserved in Georgian/ Caucasian (other?) folklore. Folk stories tell that if an icon (Place-Mother) was relocated from it’s original place, it was followed by resettlement of people (or selected persons). “Georgian Mythology, Cross and Followers?”, Z.Kiknadze, Kutaisi 1996.
9. A sign of respect and connection with ancestors is revealed in Gobekli Tepe, where preserved skulls were discovered. This ritual can be found in later periods, for instance as preserved skulls in monasteries of different confessions. In Georgia, Javakheti is confirmed existence of Dedabodzi sticking the teeth of ancestors. (this tradition also required separate studies)
10. Relocation of Dedabodzi – Arkadi Goldstein, “Towers in Mountains”, Moscow 1977. Pages 87-88
Relocation of a crown – S. Lejava “Traditional Dwelling of Trialeti – Significant Cultural Inheritance”. Old Art Today, 04.2013

Titel image: gravure printing by Longinoz Sumbadze


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