Akaki Chanturia (Georgian: აკაკი ჭანტურია; 1881-May 11, 1949) was a Georgian scientist, archeologist and ethnographer, founder of the Dadiani Palaces Museum in Zugdidi.
Akaki Chanturia received his primary education in a religious school in Senaki, a small town in the Western Georgian region of Samegrelo. He could have entered the Tbilisi Theological Seminary, but instead decided to pursue his studies abroad. To achieve that goal, he first moved to Batumi, where he learned English while working at the Rothschild factory and saving from his pay to finance a trip to Great Britain.
He arrived in England in 1904 and worked there as a private teacher of Russian, while enrolling at the university in the faculty of geology. He also studied archeology, history, cartography, ethnography, museology, philology, art and folklore. He also took part in scientific and artistic visits and excursions organised by the British Museum.
He returned to Georgia in 1912. He collected a large amount of geological and paleontological material in Samegrelo, organised and exposed them in his own family house. He used this material to complete his thesis, Geology of Georgia, published in English in London in 1919.
He left Georgia for London again at the end of 1913, to study at King's College, where he received a Bachelor of Science, and at the Royal College of Art.
He returned definitely to Georgia in 1920, and settled in his native village with his wife, an Englishwoman named Kate Walter Ball, whom he taught Georgian and Mingrelian. He often travelled to Tbilisi, to work at the newly established Tbilisi State University and at various museums and libraries. He declined an offer to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as his main goal was now the establishment of a museum in Samegrelo.
This museum opened on May 1, 1921 in the Dadiani palace of Zugdidi. Objects from the other mansions of the Dadiani family, and of the private collection of Prince Achille Murat-Dadiani were transferred to the newly created museum.
From 1937, Akaki Chanturia suffered persecution from the Soviet authorities. In 1940, he was dismissed from the museum he had created.
He died in Zugdidi on May 11, 1949.