The Structure and Ideology of Khachkar Composition
Alterations of Resurrection
In several khachkar compositions the palm decors on both sides of the bottom wing of the cross are converted into two "bird wings" where the bottom feathers are similar to reptiles, middle feathers to nestlings, and the upper feathers are converted into a bird that stubs its beak into its chest. The examination of these compositions with inclusion of medieval literary sources, makes it possible to clarify, that images or pelicans or phoenixes represent the alteration of Christís resurrection and the resurrection of common believers: Just as the pelican bird is piercing its side and reviving its nestlings with blood, Christ was pierced in his side on the cross and shed his blood for the salvation of guilty humanity. Or, just as the phoenix bursts into flames and revives, Christ resurrected for the salvation of humanity.