Il sito georgiano di Uplistsikhe e le città rupestri del mondo antico
Rock-cut towns are poorly attested in the Greek-Roman antiquity. One of the most outstanding testimonies is Uplistsikhe, located in the ancient Iberia (today central Georgia), a territory culturally influenced by the classical civilization. This town, after a significant phase that took place already in the Hellenistic period, continued its life until the Middle Ages. In the eyes of a Greek or a Roman, rock-cut settlements could hardly look like real towns. They did not actually follow any urban planning rule and did not impose themselves on the surrounding environment with theirs structures, but effaced themselves in the landscape, without modifying it. As we can also draw from the literary sources, ancient authors seem to associate the practice of dwelling in caves to rough standards of living. Nevertheless, some archaeological testimonies attest that rock-cut residential quarters could appear in regular towns as well.