Nokalakevi is the oldest and most important historical and architectural monument of Georgia. In different sources, he is known in different ways, like Tsikhe-Goji and Archeopolis. The earliest of the archaeological layers of the city discovered so far date from the VIII – VII centuries. The small figurines and two-headed miniatures of animals found here date back to the 8th century BC. Of great importance for science are finds of the ancient period: gold, silver, bronze and glass ornaments, as well as various ceramics, both local and imported.
Due to its architecture and location, the city was considered almost impregnable to the enemy. The fortress was surrounded by 3 walls, there was a ramified system of towers and gates, making it difficult to access the fortress. There were secret passages, a path to the cave with a water source, and a channel through which water entered the city.
According to Georgian historians of the 11th century, Nokalakevi was devastated by the invasion of the Arab conqueror Murvan-ibn-Muhammad “Cruel” (Murvan Crewe “Deaf (to pleas for mercy)”). With the passage of time, the importance of the fortress decreased, but by the XVI – XVIII century. Nokalakevi again gained political weight in the country, representing the residence of the princes Dadiani.