Marneuli Mine – Dmanisi

Jeff & Petra by Jeff's drilling rigs.

Jeff & Petra by Jeff's drilling rigs.

Petra & I admiring Jeff's rig.

Petra & I admiring Jeff's rig.

Petra

Petra

At the huge Marneuli gold & copper mine with Jeff, a short drive from where his rigs are kept.

At the huge Marneuli gold & copper mine with Jeff, a short drive from where his rigs are kept.

Petra & Jeff.

Petra & Jeff.

Part of the administrative center of the mine.  Apparently the mine has been in operation since the '70's (still some Soviet machinery laying around); inherited by the independent Georgian gov't, who then sold it to a Russian company.

Part of the administrative center of the mine. Apparently the mine has been in operation since the '70's (still some Soviet machinery laying around); inherited by the independent Georgian gov't, who then sold it to a Russian company.

The mine.

The mine.

Old Soviet machines.

Old Soviet machines.

We drove down to the bottom, and checked out the vehicles.  That's me in the cab.

We drove down to the bottom, and checked out the vehicles. That's me in the cab.

I'd never driven one of these things before...

I'd never driven one of these things before...

Petra.

Petra.

Exploring.

Exploring.

The rainwater turns green from the copper; other puddles were a rusty crimson or custardy yellow.

The rainwater turns green from the copper; other puddles were a rusty crimson or custardy yellow.

Petra tasting the light-blue chrystaline condensate.  Jeff said it tasted sort of like when one puts one's tongue on a battery.

Petra tasting the light-blue crystalline condensate. Jeff said it tasted sort of like when one puts one's tongue on a battery.

Climbing down.

Climbing down.

This one's definitely not Soviet.  Jeff was saying that the gold is so finely distributed that a truckload of ore wouldn't yield enough for a single ring.

This one's definitely not Soviet. Jeff was saying that the gold is so finely distributed that a truckload of ore wouldn't yield enough for a single ring.

Jeff with his trusty Land Rover.

Jeff with his trusty Land Rover.

Another gold mine a short drive away.  This opening is Soviet; while drilling they ran into another mine, which turned out to be around 3,000 years old.  Now German archeologists are in possession (though we didn't see any), carefully labeling each stone---and there were hundreds---that the ancient miners had brought up from the river to slowly chisel their way through the rock to the gold.  Pretty impressive.

Another gold mine a short drive away. This opening is Soviet; while drilling they ran into another mine, which turned out to be around 3,000 years old. Now German archeologists are in possession (though we didn't see any), carefully labeling each stone---and there were hundreds---that the ancient miners had brought up from the river to slowly chisel their way through the rock to the gold. Pretty impressive.

We liked this sign.

We liked this sign.

Another short drive away were two interesting sites: this ancient burial site and a monastery/church/castle complex.

Another short drive away were two interesting sites: this ancient burial site and a monastery/church/castle complex.

The gate was locked, so we jumped over.  We met to Georgian guys who told us it was closed, but let us wander around anyway, though they asked us to leave our cameras by the gate.

The gate was locked, so we jumped over. We met two Georgian guys who told us it was closed, but let us wander around anyway, though they asked us to leave our cameras by the gate...

...so it's good thing I brought my mobile!

...so it's good thing I brought my mobile!

Quite interesting place; perhaps a dozen of these burial holes scattered about the place, and some carefully excavated walls.

Quite interesting place; perhaps a dozen of these burial holes scattered about the place, and some carefully excavated walls.

A few old urns partially excavated too.

A few old urns partially excavated too.

A stone's throw from the burial site is the monastery complex.  The path leading there was strewn with fantastic sculptures.

A stone's throw from the burial site is the monastery complex. The path leading there was strewn with fantastic sculptures.

And another.

And another.

Interesting capitals.  I've noticed that a lot of old churches in Georgia--Armenia too, actually--seem to use a style that to my eyes seems Celtic, or even Viking.  Wonder what the connection is.

Interesting capitals. I've noticed that a lot of old churches in Georgia--Armenia too, actually--seem to use a style that to my eyes seems Celtic, or even Viking. Wonder what the connection is.

Same for the windows.  Quite beautiful.

Same for the windows. Quite beautiful.

On the way back we stopped by a little river to have lunch and go for a swim.

On the way back we stopped by a little river to have lunch and go for a swim.

Water was fantastic...

Water was fantastic...

Dmanisi14

Jeff floating downstream.

Jeff.

Jeff.

Petra.

Petra.

Me.

Me.

Worked as a great massage.

Worked as a great massage.

Petra.

Petra.

A great day.

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3 Responses

  1. Nice photos … I wasn’t there … Dmanisi I know this place … but the mine is great … Anytime I will go there … Have you find gold there? 😉

    Ralph

  2. Yes, the mine was great. No, we didn’t find any gold; Jeff was saying that one would need 3 or 4 tons of ore just to get enough gold to make a ring. And Dmanisi was great too!

  3. nis puusi

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