Armenian cross stones (khachkars) are vivid, sanguineous phenomena in medieval art. Crosses, carved on stelae long ago beginning from the 5-6th centuries, serving as memorial or exhortational monuments in Christian countries, were known to Egypt, Northern Caucasus, Europe and northern Russia. In Armenia, however, khachkars are embodied with an especially rich artistic content and are valuable achievements in Armenian monumental art.
Khachkars developed from cross monuments, originally wooden and later of stone. In the 4-th century, as Armenian historians tell, they were erected on pillars or columns on the sites of ancient destroyed pagan sanctuaries and were evidence of the victor of Christianity. Such memorials reflected the deep-rooted ancient traditions of one- or twocolumned memorial structures, well-known in Assyria, a neighbour of Armenia.
Later in the Middle Ages, the pillar or column was replaced by a high massive stylobate. The architectural nature of structures dominated; the khachkar remained, in essence, a form of „minor architecture».