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The Sargis khachkar, 1215 | by Tigra K
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The Sargis khachkar, 1215

"A khachkar, or Armenian cross-stone is a carved memorial stele bearing a cross, often with additional motifs such as rosettes, interlaces, and botanical motifs. Khachkars are characteristic of medieval Christian Armenian art."


Many khachkars show the Tree of Life under the cross. This image springs from the pre-Christian tradition and is figured in many khachkars, shown as the cross springing from a seed with side branches, sometimes along with a sun symbol and the face of Adam. By using pre-Christian symbols in the khachkars, artists were in essence “baptizing” these ancient symbols, showing the power of the Church and that Christ was the source of everlasting life for those who believed.

Sanahin monastery. Armenia, 2006

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Taken on September 26, 2017