Scientific expedition to Mount Sinai

(1990, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2004)

In 1975, unknown collection of Georgian manuscripts got discovered in the monastery of Saint Catherine. In order to study the collection, centre sent 4 expeditions to Mount Sinai.

The first expedition was held in 1990; Zaza Aleksidze – Doctor of historical sciences, and Mikheil Kavtaria – Doctor of philological sciences, took part in the expedition and with their mite, 133 manuscripts were described.

The second expedition was arranged in 1994, besides Zaza Aleksidze and Mikheil Kavtaria, Lily Khevsuriani, Tamar Meskhi, Lia Kutateladze, Nana Targamadze, Darejan Gogashvili and Irakli Iakobashvili took part in it. This time around, 140 manuscripts were described and micro films were made of 1 600 fragments. Omitting any loss, 15 fossilized manuscripts were unsealed and 77 of manuscripts were properly processed.

Third expedition took place in 1995. Lily Khevsuriani, Mzekala Shanidze, Zaza Aleksidze and Mikheil Kavtaria, traditionally, took part in it.

In November, 1999, fourth and fifth expeditions were held. During the fourth expedition (Zaza Aleksidze and Davit Tskhadadze), Georgian-Albanian palimpsests were photographed and prepared for catalogue material.

As for the fifth expedition (Mzekala Shanidze, Lily Khevsuriani) – it was meant to specify some of the manuscripts and photograph several examples.

The last, sixth expedition on Mount Sinai, at St. Catherine Monastery was held in 2004. Zaza Aleksidze, Giorgi Aleksidze, Jost Gippert (Doctor and professor at Frankfurt Goethe University) and Jean-Pier Mae (Doctor, Professor at University of France) participated in the expedition. The latter was arranged to read Georgian-Albanian palimpsests using technology with multispectral system.

In 2005, after the expeditions ended, a new book was published: New Catalogue of Georgian collection in Georgian, Greek and English languages.

In 2006, 16th of October, the catalogue was presented at The Fund of Patriarch of Georgia.