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District: Dmanisi
Province: Kvemo Kartli
Country: Georgia
Founded in the early Middle Ages, the town of Bashkicheti (Башкичети) is located at the confluence of the Mashavera and Phinezauri Rivers in the Dmanisi district of Kvemo Kartli region, Georgia (former Borchalo district, Tiflis province, Russia). It took its name from the Turkic basgechit, meaning "primary mountain passage" or "primary transit point". As the name suggests, it was here that the ancient caravan routes to Byzantium, Armenia and Persia converged. At its peak in the 12th century, Bashkicheti was a flourishing trade centre with a mixed Georgian, Armenian and Arab population. However, over the centuries, warfare and invasion led to the decline of the village, and by the 18th century, it was abandoned. In 1844, it was resettled by Doukhobor exiles from Tavria. In 1937, it was renamed Dmanisi (Дманиси), from the ancient Mongol duman, meaning “military or administrative unit”. In the 1990’s and 2000’s, the Doukhobor population was depleted by emigration to Russia and today the population is primarily Georgian. It is the site of the oldest Paleolithic monument in Eurasia. [41° 19' 14" N - 44° 11' 12" E]



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