Prehistoric period
People lived in Georgia since ancient times - such conclusion was made by archeologists. During excavations of Dmanisi settlement they discovered the remains of skulls of ancient people. Scientists think that people lived in Dmanisi about 1,800,000 years ago.
The latest findings of archaeology make it possible to trace the origin of human society on the territory of modern Georgia back to the late Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. A number of Neolithic sites have been excavated in the low-lying Kolkheti (Colchian) basin, in the Khrami valley in central Georgia and in South Ossetia (Samachablo); they were occupied by settled tribes engaged in cattle raising and agriculture.
In ancient times, Georgia was considered to be a primordial hearth of metallurgy. Beginning of the second millennium B.C. was the beginning of the Bronze Age for Georgia. Important findings were made in Trialeti, proving that Georgia has been occupied in the second millennium BC. In the burial vaults there were found vessels made of silver, gold, etc.

Ancient Georgian nations
Early in the 1st millennium B.C. the ancestors of the Georgian nation emerge into the pages of history in the annals of Assyria and later, of Urartu (Armenia). Among these were the Diauhi or Diaeni nations, ancestors of the Taokhoi, later domiciled in the southwestern Georgian province of Tao, and the Kulkha, forerunners of the Colchians, who held sway over large territories at the eastern end of the Black Sea. The fable wealth of Colchis early became known to the Greek, and finds symbolic expression in the legend of Medea and the Golden Fleece.
Other names encountered in connection with the early history of the Georgian people are those of the tribes known to the Assyrians as the Tabali and Mushki.
Following the influx of tribes driven from the direction of Anatolia by the Cimmerian invasion of the 7th century B.C. and their fusion with the aboriginal population of the Kura valley, the centuries immediately preceding the Christian era witnessed the growth of the important kingdom of Iberia, the region which now comprises modern Kartli and Kakheti, with Samtskhe and adjoining regions of southwestern Georgia. Colchis to the west was colonized by Greek settlers from Miletus, and sequently fell under the sway of Mithradates the Great, king of Pontus. The campaigns of Pompey led in 65 B.C. to the establishment of Roman Hegemony over Iberia, and direct Roman rule over Colchis and the rest of Georgia's Black Sea littoral.
The emergence of new branches of economy in the Bronze Age proved conducive to the formation of tribal alliances. Of these, the confederation of the Diauehi (Daiaeni) in south-west Georgia and the kingdom of Colchis existed till the eighth century B.C.
They are mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions of the Urartian Kings Argistis I and Sardur II, both the Diauehi and Colchis being described as important tribal confederations with which the kingdom of Urartu often came into collision.
The wealth and might of Colchis are reflected in the Greek myth of the Argonauts.
The Georgian tribes and tribal alliances kept up lively economic and cultural contacts with the ancient civilized peoples of the East, such as the Hitites, the Mitanni, the Urartians, and others, with whom the Georgians had affinities. Throughout antiquity the ancestors of the Georgians of today maintained the same kind of intercourse with the Armenian and North Caucasian tribes.
By the eighth or seventh century B.C. this process resulted in the emergence of such Georgian tribes as the Karts, Megrel-Chans and Svans, who had their own tribal language, territory and customs. These tribes were to form the East and West Georgian peoples which subsequently fused to become the Georgian nation. The Georgian tribes mentioned above established their states both in western and eastern Georgia as early as the sixth and the fourth centuries B.C. The ancient Greeks have left us much interesting information concerning Colchis, the Greek name for the west Georgian state that came into being in the sixth century B.C. in the Egrisi lowlands. The wealth of Colchis, its well-developed economy and convenient location had always attracted the Greeks who traded with the native population through their colonies on the coast.
To meet the requirements of trade that was brisk enough by the standards of those days, Colchis (the kingdom of Egrisi) began to mint its own coin known as silver "Colchi" in the middle of the sixth century B.C. From the fourth to the second century B.C. these coins penetrated from the Black Sea littoral as far as the inner regions of Egrisi, the Kartlu kingdom and even beyond its frontiers.
In eastern Georgia, the Iberian or Kartlian kingdom came into being at approximately the same time with its capital Mtskheta. Archaeological excavations show how rich and mighty the old city of Mtskheta must have been. The huge acropolis and the remarkable monuments discovered in the vicinity of Mtskheta are dumb witnesses of the economic and cultural significance of the city. The kingdoms of both Iberia and Colchis were the first ancient states to emerge on the territory now within the Republic of Georgia.
The Georgian states maintained political and economic relations with the Greeks, Achaemenid Persia, the Seleucids, remnants of Alexander the Great's Empire, Arsacid Iran, the Pontic kingdom and others. Thus, in the sixth to fourth centuries B.C. the two Georgian kingdoms played an important role in the political and economic life of the ancient world.
From the first century B.C. onward, the kingdoms of Iberia and Colchis engaged in incessant wars with foreign invaders who strove to subjugate them. It was the Romans who launched the first of those almost incessant wars. Though its population was not numerous, Kartli (Iberia) offered such a stubborn resistance that the Roman legions had to retreat and give up every hope of occupying the country. In the first century A.D. the Kartlian kingdom became powerful enough to pursue its own independent policy in regard to Rome.
In the second and third centuries the Roman emperors had to take Iberia into account, trying by all means to consolidate friendly relations with her.
Western Georgian kingdom of Egrisi also had to defend its independence in wars with Pontus, and then with the Romans.

Georgia in IV-X centuries
In the year 337 of IV century Christianity was declared as a state religion of Eastern Georgia.
In V-VI centuries Georgia had to struggle against Iranian invaders. In the second half of the 5th century the Iberian king Vakhtang Gorgasali was in the forefront of the liberation war against Iran. His name is associated with foundation of Tbilisi city. Vakhtang Gorgasali had only to lay the foundation of the city. At the beginning of the VI century, his heir Dachi made Tbilisi a capital of the kingdom Kartli. As for Vakhtang Gorgasali, he fell in the struggle with the Iranians in the year 502. In 523, the Iranians conquered Iberia and approached the borders of Western Georgia.
Iran' policy to extend its authority over Egrisi was the cause of the war with Eastern Rome (Byzantine Empire). The war that dragged on for twenty years was waged on the territory of Egrisi, ruining and devastating the country.
The revolt of 572 A.D. ended in the expulsion of the Iranians. Soon the victorious Kartli formed an independent state, the principality of Kartli.
The Arab invasion started in the second half of the VII century. They managed to conquer main Georgian provinces and imposed the tribute. The head of Arab administration - Amir - settled in Tbilisi and ruled over Georgia from the city.
At the end of VIII – beginning of IX centuries, during the period of fighting against foreign invaders, new feudal states were formed on the territory of Georgia - Kakheti Samtavro (principality), Abkhazian kingdom, Hereti kingdom, Tao Klarjeti Samtavro (later - the kingdom).
These states gradually unyoked Georgia from the Arabs. In the tenth century Arab's influence extended only to Tbilisi and its surroundings.
In the second half of the tenth century King Bagrat III Bagrationi (975-1014) united the main part of Georgia. Kutaisi became a capital of the united Georgian kingdom.

Georgia in XI-XV centuries
The main task of the heirs of Bagrat III was the return of Georgian lands, conquered by the Byzantine Empire in 1001 and the liberation of Tbilisi from the Arabs. But this was prevented by raids of the Seljuk Turks who invaded Georgia in 1064. They ravaged the country.
In the 90s of XI century, the situation changed. Seljuk Turks' state began to weaken its power; King David IV the Builder took advantage of this. In 1097 he stopped paying tribute to the Turks and began the fight for their exclusion from Georgia. David IV defeated the Turks, liberated the city of Tbilisi and made it the capital of Georgia.
With the reign of David IV the Builder the "golden age" of Georgia begins.
During the reign of his heirs, Giorgi III and Queen Tamar, Georgia was a powerful state in the Middle East. In 1204, due to the efforts of Queen Tamar Greek-Georgian Trebizond Empire was founded.
This growth was prevented by the invasions of the Mongols. They first appeared in 1220, defeated the small Georgian army, and left.
A few years later the Mongols came to Georgia again. Georgia had to submit their power. Mongols imposed a heavy tribute on the people.
Mongol rule lasted for 100 years. Georgia finally freed from the Mongols during the reign of Giorgi V the Brilliant (1314-1346). Giorgi V united the whole Georgia and restored the political integrity of the country.
In the 80th of XIV century Georgia suffered a new disaster - the invasion of Timur Leng. From 1386 to 1403 Timur Leng attacked Georgia 8 times. The country fell into decay. In the second half of the XV century unfavorable changes for Georgia took place in the international arena: Christian Byzantium finally fell. Georgia was encircled by the Muslim world. In such circumstances, a united Georgian kingdom could not resist, and it broke up into several parts.
The following independent Georgian states were formed: Kartli, Kakheti and Imereti kingdoms and principality of Samtskhe. Bagrationi dynasty took reign in Kartli, Kakheti and Imereti, and the dynasty of Jakeli - in Samtskhe.

Georgia in XVI-XVIII centuries
In the XVI century Georgia had two dangerous neighbors - the Ottoman Empire and Iran. In 1555 they divided Georgia in two parts; eastern Georgia went to Iran and western - to the Ottomans.
At the beginning of the XVII century the Ottomans conquered the principality of Samtskhe, and turned the native population into Muslim religion.
The first half of XVII century was particularly serious and grave for Eastern Georgia. Invasion of Shah Abbas I led the country to full decline, but Shah never achieved his intentions; he had to accept the existence of Georgian kingdoms
XVIII century was the hardest time for Georgia. Turks and Persians ruled the country in turns. In 1716, Shah assigned Vakhtang VI to the throne of the kingdom of Kartli. Vakhtang VI decided to contact the Russian Emperor Peter I and to oppose Persia with joined forces. He concluded a secret treaty with Peter, but joining of efforts of the two allies did not take place. Peter I changed his action plan. This made Shah enraged. Vakhtang VI had to leave Georgia, and move to Russia.
In eastern Georgia the year 1723 was the beginning of the period known as Osmaloba – the Ottoman rule. In 1735 the Kizilbashes superseded the Turks. The Persian rule lasted till 1744. The country was devastated once again.
For twenty years the Georgian people offered a determine resistance to the encroachments of Iran and Ottoman Turkey, which in the long run brought victory to Georgia: the Iranian Shah was again compelled to retreat. In 1744, by his consent, Christian kings, Teimuraz II and his son Erekle II, ascended the thrones of Kartli and Kakheti.
After the death of Teimuraz II, Kartli and Kakheti were united under King Erekle II.
Similar events were taking place in western Georgia. Solomon I, enthroned in Imereti (1752-1784). He was fighting to liberate Georgia from the Turks. He did not fully succeeded in forcing out the Turks, but still the Kuchuk-Kainarji peace treaty that followed in 1774 was beneficial to the country. Turkish influence on west-Georgian affairs was restricted.
In 1783 a treaty between Russia and the Georgian kingdom Kartli-Kakheti was signed at Georgievsk. These closer relations between Georgia and Russia infuriated the Iranians.
In 1795 Agha Mohammed Khan send his army to Tbilisi. Russia did not support Erekle II, though they promised to help according to the treaty. The Iranians burst into Tbilisi and reduced the city to ash.

Georgia in XIX-XXI centuries
In 1801, the Russian Emperor Alexander I issued a manifesto of abolition of Kartli-Kakheti kingdom and its accession to the Russian Empire. Autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Church was abolished.
Following this, the turn of other Georgian kingdoms and principalities came. One by one Russia conquered the whole Georgia and established the Russian rule in the country.
Georgian people did not reconcile to the loss of independence and often rose in revolts, but Russia suppressed all the attempts.
Georgia became a part of the Russian Empire.
In 1917, the tsar's reign in Russia was overthrown. The Russian Empire broke up.
In March 1917, autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Church has been restored.
In May 26, 1918, the independence of Georgia was declared in Tbilisi. Soon after, the independence of Georgia was recognized by the Entente countries and several other governments.
Russia also recognized the independence of Georgia.
Soon after Russia violated a treaty with Georgia. Turkey also became more active.
In February 1921 Georgia was invaded by Soviet Russia and Kemalist Turkey at the same time. Georgia lost in an unequal battle. The Government of Georgia has emigrated abroad. In 1921-1923 Georgia lost 14,263.16 sq.km. of its territory.
A great state called "Soviet Union" was formed. Georgia became a part of the state. Georgians did not accept the establishment of Soviet power. In 1924, a rebellion broke out. Soviet power put it down.
Soviet power in Georgia lasted for 70 years. In 80th of the twentieth century the so-called "perestroika" began in the Soviet Union resulting collapse of the Soviet Union.
On April 9, 1991, Georgia declared its independence. The first president of independent Georgia was Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Georgia's population did not support the policy of the new government, and the opposition managed to overthrow the government by force of arms.
In March 1992, Eduard Shevardnadze returned to Georgia. He headed the Council of State, and then became a president of the country.
On March 23, 1992 the EU countries recognized the independence of Georgia; on July 31 of the same year, Georgia was admitted to the United Nations.
During this period, the political situation in Georgia was difficult. Abkhazians and Ossetians wanted to secede from Georgia. The war began. Native Georgian population was expelled from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region (Samachablo).
In 2003, after the so-called "Rose Revolution", Mikheil Saakashvili became a president of Georgia. In August 2008 there was a war between Georgia and Russia in Tskhinvali region (Samachablo). Saakashvili and his party "National Movement" headed the government until October 2012.
Today G. Margvelashvili is the president of Georgia, and the parliamentary majority is presented by the coalition "Kartuli Otsneba" ("Georgian Dream).


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