Dmanisi was the largest fortified fortress-town of Lower Kartli. As well it was one of the most defended towns in Georgia during the middle ages, after Tbilisi. According to historical sources, the town of Dmanisi was the summer residence of Queen Tamara. A medieval tower and part of citadel, cellars, baths, halls, jails and ruins of households and other buildings still exist. A tunnel dating back to the 12th century is of particular note. There is also so called three-church basilica, which was built in the 6th century.

The fortress contains a citadel that was built in the 11th century bus was later destroyed during the invasion of Turks. King David the Builder reclaimed the fortress for Georgia and after 1123 it was referred to as the “town of kings”. The town was destroyed on multiple occasions as a result of several invasions by Tamerlane, a powerful central Asian conqueror of the 14th century.

During the 17th century this fortress was ruled by the Baratashvili family. The area was once again revived and was used as a burial ground.

Early human fossils, dubbed Homo georgicus, were found at Dmanisi archeological site during the excavations between 1991 and 2005. At 1.8 million years old, H. georgicus may have been a separate species of Homo, predating Homo erectus, and represent the earliest stage of human presence in the Caucasus.