Another Azerbaijani nonsense: Armenians inserted “Gregorian” crosses into the walls of Artsakh churches in the 19th century, trying to Armenize the “Albanian” heritage

This is not the first time we have to react to Azerbaijani fiction. This time their absurd ideas refer to the Monastery of Kusanats Surb Astvatsatsin built in the end of the 12th century near Dadivank Monastery. The masonry of the walls includes khachkars dated back to the 10th-11th centuries (Fig. 1-3). Both the lack of elementary knowledge and the neglect of the chronology of khachkars Azerbaijani scientests compensate by arrogance like “look, we have a new discovery: there is a late “Gregorian” khachkar in the wall of one of the buildings of the monastery!” (See video from 4:30 to 5:30, fig.4. We are grateful to Simon Maghakyan for informing us of this material).

First of all, we would like to note that the Armenian Apostolic Church is not called "Gregorian". This term was used in the tsarist nomenclature in the 30s of the 19th century and since then has gone out of use as an alternative name for the Armenian Apostolic Church. But most importantly, the khachkar belongs to a number of simple khachkars of the 10-11th centuries with an incised image of a cross, which were quite common in Armenia, including Artsakh (Petrosyan, Yeranyan 2022, 26-30). The fact that earlier khachkars were widely used in the construction of Armenian churches in difficult times is a well-known, scientifically confirmed and studied issue (Petrosyan 2008, 326).

There is nothing surprising in the use of early khachkars in the construction of the Kusanats Monastery. It would be enough, for example, to visit Handaberd Monastery, built at the end of the 13th century and located not far from Kusanats Monastery (there are about 30 Armenian inscriptions on its walls, khachkars and tiles, dating to the 12th-13th centuries AD) and make sure that the usage of old khachkars in the construction of new buildings was quite a common phenomenon (fig. 5, 6, Petrosyan, Kirakosyan, Safaryan 2009, 32-33, 49-50). We also note that a significant part of the khachkars of Handaberd Monastery was literally destroyed in the 80s. by the Azerbaijani population of Karvachar (fig. 7).

Alas, this obvious professional ignorance, distortion of facts and arrogance do not fit into the framework of academic ethics, are not recognized as proper scientific methods, therefore these cannot claim any scientific value or point of view.


  1. Petrosyan, Yeranyan 2022 – Petrosyan H., Yeranyan N., The monumental culture of Artsakh, Yerevan (in Armenian, English, and Russian)
  2. Petrosyan 2008 – Petrosyan H., Khachkar: the Origins, Functions, Iconography, Semantics, Printinfo press, Yerevan
  3. Petrosyan, Kirakosyan, Safaryan 2009 - Petrosyan H., Kirakosyan L., Safaryan V., Handaberd monastery and its excavations, Printinfo press, Yerevan