SYMBOL OF ARMENIAN IMMORTAL STRENGTH AND DEVOTION
THE ARMENIAN MASTER CRAFTSMEN WERE GENERATIONAL
THE TRADITIONS AND THE SECRETS OF THE CRAFT WERE PASSED
FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION -- FROM FATHER TO SON --
FROM VARPET [MASTER] TO ASHAKERT [PUPIL] GOING BACK TO TIME IMMEMORIAL.
Written by Gevork Nazaryan
Khachkars are found throughout the territory of historical Armenia or Armenian Highland. Khachkar is the evolved type of early pre-Christian, fish-shaped Vishapakars [literally Dragon Stones] which were erected thousands of years before the Christian khachkars in the forms of Dragons, representative of fertility and the Tree of Life and Wisdom [the biblical Garden of Eden], according to the tradition located in the Land of the Four Rivers [Elemental Water] -- Armenia.
THE VIŠAPAK‛AR [VISH-FISH] DRAGON STONES
WERE PLACED NEAR WATER SOURCES AS SYMBOLS
OF THE COSMIC WATERS [PRIMORDIAL CHAOS -- THE BEGINNING]
THESE ARCHETYPES LATER EVOLVED INTO THE KHACHKARS
THAT WERE ALSO SYMBOLIC OF THE TREE OF LIFE/GENERATIVE FORCE
ONE OF THE XOYAK COLUMN CAPITOLS
OF THE ARMENIAN MASTER BUILDERS FROM PTŁNI
THE TWO SPIRALS ON SINGULAR HORIZONTAL
KNOT LINE -- SPINNING RIGHT AND LEFT --
WITH THE CIRCLED SOLAR EQUILATERAL CROSS
IN THE CENTER OF THE RECTANGLE
THE HARMONY OF THE TRADITIONAL ARMENIAN EQUILATERAL CROSS.
S U B L I M E A N C E S T R A L W I S D O M
RELIEF OF THE ARMENIAN CROSS ON THE CHURCH
OF THE HOLY CROSS
ON AŁT‛AMAR ISLAND [915-21]. THE COSMIC CRUX [AXIS] MADE UP OF
INTERWOVEN 8-ESQUE HERMETIC [TANTRIC KUNDALINI RISING THROUGH
COMMUNION] SNAKES/DNA  STRANDS RUNNING UP AND DOWN THE SPINE AND
ARMS VERT. AND HORIZ. UNITE IN THE CENTER TO FORM THE RIGHT AND LEFT
SPINNING SWASTIKAS [CUBE/OBLONG SQUARE/FOURTH DIMENSION IN THE HEART].
8 RINGS/CIRCLES AT THE TIPS OF THE CROSS. FERTILITY/GODDESS/ FALLOPIAN
TUBES [OUT OF WHICH EMERGES THE SOLAR CROSS/SACRED TREE OF LIFE/
KNOWLEDGE] WITH OFFSHOOTS OF TWO GRAPE CLUSTERS ON EACH SIDE.
FLEUR-DE-LYS-ESQUE GRAPE LEAVES AT THE TOP.
THE VALLEY OF HUNDREDS OF MEDIEVAL KHACHKARS
AT NORADUS NEAR MARTUNI.
The first Crosses were built of wood and as well as stone. But unfortunately because of the fact that wood is an organic material and is very vulnerable to elements such as water and fire [as opposed to much tougher stone], much of the early culture [both pre-Christian and Christian] created and based on wood has not been preserved due to this fact. Ornamental decorations, for the few exceptions has mostly survived to our days for the most part due to the use of stones for creation of khachkars and other architectural monuments including churches, cathedrals, fortresses as well as similar buildings and structures erected by the talented Armenian master craftsmen and artisans. The earliest types of khachkars are the Winged Crosses, found in great number during the excavations of the ancient Armenian capital of Duin [Dvin], in the Ararat Valley. Winged khachkars are among the most beautiful and elegant in their form.
THE ODZUN MEMORIAL SHRINE.
Beginning in the IXth century, cities like Ani, Lori, Kars and Van experienced a dynamic revival and growth. These cities were experiencing a socio-political and cultural boom under the powerful Bagratid Royal dynasty. New monasteries and convents were established all around Armenia. It is precisely in this period that the Cross Stones expand to all parts of Armenia and become very
WINGED CROSS-STONE IN THE MOTHER CATHEDRAL
popular and take on a decorative, religious-theistic and as well as commemorative-enshrining design form. Military victories, commemorations of historical events such as a birth or death of a monarch or an aristocrat, laying the foundations of new churches and cathedrals, were all memorialized with the creation of the divine Khachkar. Some Khachkars were also affixed to the high walls of churches for the reason of better sustentation and more unassailable location.
LEFT AND RIGHT SPINNING SPIRALS FROM THE ONE
VERTICAL ALIGNMENT WITH OUTSTRETCHED HORIZONTAL HANDS
COMPARE WITH THE KHACHKAR ABOVE.
Another type of Khachkar form is the Amenap'rkich or the All Savior, distinguished from all others by a carving at the top of the crucifixion scene. Armenians ascribed healing qualities to these stones and converted them to shrines. Another value of the sacred Khachkars are their inscriptions which often contain important historical information. This tradition went all the way back to the Armenian masters who made cuneiform inscriptions in the Kingdoms of Armani, Mitanni and Aratta in the third and second millennia BC.
SOLEMN ORDER. THE ETERNAL MUSIC OF THE UNIVERSE...FROZEN IN STONE.
Many khachkars also contained the names and markings of the master makers -- the names of masters Momik, Dimit, Mkhitar, and Avetis will always be remembered for their remarkable accomplishment of transforming the silent stones into beautiful and living sacred symbols. One of the 'unwritten rules' of khachkar makers was the fact that no other craftsman would repeat the beautiful, ornamental design pattern of his predecessor, thus insuring the uniqueness and beauty of every single Khachkar. The natural process of the development of Armenian khachkar making was interrupted as a consequences of nomadic raids by the Seljuk Turks. The Armenian city of Julfa in Nakhichevan that
...FINISHING 'THE JOB...' OF THE FEW REMAINING EMACIATED AND DYING SURVIVORS
ON THE DEATH MARCH IN THE SCORCHING SYRIAN DESERTS...SINCE THE TURKISH
'SOLDIERS' WERE UNABLE TO FIGHT FACE TO FACE WITH ARMENIAN FREEDOM
FIGHTERS WHO HEROICALLY FOUGHT TO THE DEATH TO SAVE WHAT REMAINED OF
THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE AND PREVAILED THROUGHOUT MUCH OF HISTORIC ARMENIA...
THE SICK, WOMEN, CHILDREN AND THE ELDERLY WERE THE TARGETS OF THE
CRIMINAL TURKISH 'ARMY...' ALMOST IMMEDIATELY THE SYSTEMATIC
DESTRUCTION OF NATIVE ARMENIAN CULTURE...INCLUDING MILLENNIA
OLD PRICELESS MONUMENTS FOLLOWED...
was famous for thousands of beautiful khachkars that were erected in the old cemetery of the city WAS COMPLETELY OBLITERATED AS RECENTLY AS FEW YEARS AGO, with most of the priceless khachkars being broken to bits and pieces and thrown into the Arax River at the hands of Azerbaijani Turks. This is what happens to Civilization when it is uprooted of the people that has built it.
THOUSANDS OF PRICELESS KHACHKARS HAVE BEEN FOREVER DESTROYED ...