FOR COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH OF TRUSO VALLEY
Mountanious Truso valleyrepresents a border region with Russia, which in times past, belonged to Dvaleti, historical-ethnographic region of Georgia and was inhabited by Georgian ethnic group – Dvalis. Some part of Dvali population became assimilated into Ossetian population migrated in the XVII-XVIII centuries, while the remaining segment was forcibly relocated to other historical regions of Georgia. Ossetians, settled in the Truso Valley, in turn, adopted many traditions of local Georgian population, as evidenced by synthetic architecture, ritual rules, oral patterns, etc. All told, with its historical past, socio-economic and political significance, population lifestyle, material or spiritual cultural development, Truso Valley appears to be a quite rich and diverse land of the country.
Georgian narrative, documentary and epigraphic literary monuments contain important information for the overall study of historical-geographical side of Truso: (Dzegli Eristavta – Chronicle of Princes (ძეგლი ერისთავთა);“Chronicle of Gergeti”(გერგეთის სულთა მატიანე), IntroductionBook onfaulty acts of Samtavisi Flock(„სამთავისის სამწყსოს დრამისა და შესავლის წიგნი“), findings by Vakhushti Batonishvili, Papuna Orbeliani, etc), archival material, XVIII century census data, certificates issued by royal government, information provided by XVIII-XIX-century-foreign-travelers (Guldenstedt, Aikhwald, Rainex, etc.),Georgian scientific literature (N. Berdzenishvili, V. Gamrekeli, B. Gamkrelidze, G. Chikovani, V. Itonishvili, R. Topchishvili, etc). The materials keptin“Ossetian Theological Commission” (1774-1861) and “Society for the Restoration of Orthodox Christianity in the Caucasus” (1863-1917), as well as in “Georgian Exarchate Chancellery Fund” are important sources for studying the religious situation in the Truso valley in the 19th century. The existing sources provide diverse basis for interdisciplinary research of the history of Truso Valley and expose main problems and specifics of historical-geographical, political, cultural (architecture, small stone reliefs, epigraphic monuments and other artefacts) study of the valley.
Based on complex analysis of historical sources and scientific literature, the paper presents key issuesfaced in the course of exploring the region: historical geography and borders of Truso, interrelationship between Georgian and foreign written sources, historical-cultural narrativeof Truso secular architecture (fortified towers)basic features of written culture, religious situation in Truso Valley,collective cultural identity issues, etc.
Key words: Truso, Dvaleti, fiefdomof Princes of Aragvi, Georgian and foreign sources, architecture, written culture, religious situation and cultural identity.