The first evidence of a Georgian Christian presence on the shores of the Holy Land was uncovered during August excavations in the ancient city of Ashdod-Yam. Dating to the Byzantine period, a Greek inscription was found on the floor of a 1,500-year-old church, which mentions the date of 292 according to the Georgian calendar.
The Ashdod-Yam inscription is the earliest known use of the Georgian calendar in the world — including in Georgia. Interestingly, according to the excavation’s lead archaeologists, modern Ashdod is now home to the largest community of Jews of Georgian origin.
Story: Amanda Borschel-Dan, Time of Israel | Photo: Anat Rasiuk, Israel Antiquities Authority