8 March, 2018 Gegharkunik Region 2739 Views

Noratus cemetery 

Noratus (also called Noraduz) cemetery is most famous for its over 800 khachkars (stone crosses), carved between the 9th-17th centuries.
The carvings are from each period of the art form's development, which are distilled into three main periods: 9th-10th cc, 11th-12th cc and 13th-16th cc.
Noratus field was the second largest field of khachkars in existence until the larger field of around 2,500 khachkars at Jugha (Nakhichevan) were systematically destroyed by Azerbaijan in 1998-2005. Few Jugha Stones survive, mostly at Echmiadzin. After the destruction of the Jugha field, Noratus became the largest remaining collection of khachkars in the world.

The Development of the Khachkar
Among Armenia's unique contributions to world heritage, one of its most original is the Khachkar (Stone Cross). Khachkar is a carved, memorial stele bearing a cross, and often with additional motifs such as rosettes, interlaces, and botanical motifs. 
Based on ancient traditions of obelisk art, the rise of the khachkar began in the early Christina era and reached its zenith in the Middle Ages. Noratus cemetery has many fine examples from each period of their development.
The origins of the khachkar date to the pre-Christian period, to carved monumental water-worship idols erected at sources of water, known as vishaps (dragon stones). As early Christians converted pagan temples into churches, they often erected the symbol of their new religion—the cross—at the site. 

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