Noratus cemetery  Նորատուսի գերեզմանատուն’

Medieval Armenian cemetary with a great amount of early Khachkars in the Noratus village, Located in Gegharkunik province of Armenia. 

The cemetary became the largest historical Armenian cemetary after the vile destruction of the ten thousand khachkar cemetary in Julfa, Nakhichevan by Azeris. 

The oldest  khackhars date to ninth century and they are spread over a seven hectare field with over a thousand medieval khachkars, all with unique ornamentations depicting farm life, weddings, royalty and religious depictions. The cemetary is named after the nearby village of Noratus which has evidence of a settlement form the Bronze Age and also the ninth century Holy Virgin Church. Many believe Noratus is named after the medieval fortress founded by Prince Gegham.

A popular folktale speaks about when the massive monstrous army of Timur the Lame was invading, The defenceless villagers dressed the khachkars up as soldiers by placing helmets on the top and leanind swords towards them. From a distance in the foggy Armenian mountains it looked like armed soldiers standing strong, this resulted in Tamerlanes army retreating.

Timur’un, İsfahan’ı teslim aldıktan sonra içeride bıraktığı 4000 kadar Türk askerinin yerel halk tarafından katledilmesinden sonra, dönem tarihçilerinden Hafız Ebru şehri terkederek Şam’a geçmiştir. Bir süre sonra tekrar İsfahan’a dönen Hafız Ebru, Timur’un tekrar kente geldiğini ve her biri 1500 kelleden olmak üzere 28 kule diktirdiğini yazmıştır.

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