A Georgian woman who claimed to be 132 years old has died. However her age has been contested because all official documents from the time of her ostensible birth have been destroyed and because her age would make her as old as some of the personages depicted in the Bible.
Antisa Khvichava said that she was born on July 8, 1880, and she had a Soviet-era passport and documentation to back up her claims. She lived in Sachino, a remote village in northwest Georgia, with her 42-year-old grandson. Khvichava said that she worked until the age of 85 when she retired from her job as a tea and corn picker in 1965.
Khvichava had 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. Reportedly, she attributed her long life and good health to her daily glass of brandy from a local market.
If her age was actually 132 years old at the time of her death, Khvichava, who only spoke the local language Mingrelian, would have been 10 years younger than the Soviet Union's first leader Vladimir Lenin. She would have been born a year before famous Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky died. She would have already been 31 when the first Titanic sunk in 1912, 33 when the Archduke of Austria Franz Ferdinand was killed, prompting the First World War in 1914 and 37 during Russia's October Revolution in 1917.
Khvichava would have been 61 years old when the Soviet Union entered World War II and 111 when the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991.
But her original birth certificate was said to be destroyed during the years of revolutions and civil unrest that ravaged Georgia following the fall of the Soviet Union. All of the documents stating her age were created long after her reported birth. Though local officials, neighbors, family members, and friends all attest to her claims, it is likely that her real age may remain a mystery for the ages.
Since Khvichava died, the oldest person in the world is the relatively sprightly Besse Cooper, who is 116 years old. She lives in the other Georgia, in the United States, and her birth can be documented to August 1896.
The oldest confirmed person was Jeanne Calmet, who lived in France. Born in 1875, she claimed to have met the painter Vincent van Gogh as a young woman. She died in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 165 days.