Noraduz cemetery (Armenian: Նորադուզի գերեզմանատուն) is a medieval cemetery with many ancient khachkars in the village of Noraduz, Gegharkunik marz near Gavar and Lake Sevan, 90 km north of Yerevan. Many tombstones in the cemetery show carved scenes of weddings and farm life.
Khachkars[change | change source]
The oldest khachkars in the cemetery go back to the late 10th century. During the revival of the khachkar tradition in the 16-17th centuries many khachkars were built under the yoke of the Safavid Empire when oriental influences seeped into Armenian art. Three master carvers from this period carved khachkars in Noraduz, the most notable of whom was Kiram Kazmogh (1551-1610), his contemporaries were Arakel and Meliset.
Folklore[change | change source]
A popular folktale involving the cemetery concerns the invading army of Tamerlane. According to one story the villagers placed helmets on top of the khachkars and leaned swords against them. From a distance the khachkars looked like armed soldiers holding a defensive position as a result of which Tamerlane’s army retreated.