s


BANANTS. The village in the 1920s (above) and in 1985 (left and right)

BANANTS. The village in the 1920s (above) and in 1985 (left and right)

BANANTS. Archaeological finds unearthed in some tombs located in the neighbourhood of the village

BANANTS. Archaeological finds unearthed in some tombs located in the neighbourhood of the village

BANANTS. Archaeological finds unearthed in some tombs located in the neighbourhood of the village

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Houses and the Vanunts gate. Partial views of the village quarters. Below: the house of Hamzunts Marut

BANANTS. Houses and the Vanunts gate. Partial views of the village quarters. Below: the house of Hamzunts Marut

BANANTS. Houses and the Vanunts gate. Partial views of the village quarters. Below: the house of Hamzunts Marut

BANANTS. Houses and the Vanunts gate. Partial views of the village quarters. Below: the house of Hamzunts Marut

BANANTS. Houses and the Vanunts gate. Partial views of the village quarters. Below: the house of Hamzunts Marut

BANANTS. Houses and the Vanunts gate. Partial views of the village quarters. Below: the house of Hamzunts Marut

BANANTS. Houses and the Vanunts gate. Partial views of the village quarters. Below: the house of Hamzunts Marut

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses. The houses of the Vanunts and Jalladians

BANANTS. Quarters and houses. The houses of the Vanunts and Jalladians

BANANTS. Quarters and houses. The houses of the Vanunts and Jalladians

BANANTS. Quarters and houses. The houses of the Vanunts and Jalladians

BANANTS. Above: some of the Israyelians houses. Below: the wooden-roof house of the Thorossians (1875)

BANANTS. Above: some of the Israyelians houses. Below: the wooden-roof house of the Thorossians (1875)

BANANTS. Above: some of the Israyelians houses. Below: the wooden-roof house of the Thorossians (1875)

BANANTS. Above: some of the Israyelians houses. Below: the wooden-roof house of the Thorossians (1875)

BANANTS. Above: some of the Israyelians houses. Below: the wooden-roof house of the Thorossians (1875)

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Quarters and houses

BANANTS. Above: capitals of some houses (the second one is in the yard of the Gojunts), 1843. Below: the hearthstone of the Yepiskopossians house

BANANTS. Above: capitals of some houses (the second one is in the yard of the Gojunts), 1843. Below: the hearthstone of the Yepiskopossians house

BANANTS. Above: capitals of some houses (the second one is in the yard of the Gojunts), 1843. Below: the hearthstone of the Yepiskopossians house

BANANTS. Above: capitals of some houses (the second one is in the yard of the Gojunts), 1843. Below: the hearthstone of the Yepiskopossians house

BANANTS. Construction inscriptions of some houses

BANANTS. Construction inscriptions of some houses

BANANTS. Construction inscriptions of some houses

BANANTS. Construction inscriptions of some houses

BANANTS. Construction inscriptions of some houses

BANANTS. The longitudinal and transversal sections of Metz (Hin) Bridge.

BANANTS. The longitudinal and transversal sections of Metz (Hin) Bridge.

BANANTS. The longitudinal and transversal sections of Metz (Hin) Bridge. Its plan

BANANTS. Yants Bridge

BANANTS. Yants Bridge

BANANTS. Yants Bridge. The plan

BANANTS. The left pier and measurement of Boloradzor Bridge

BANANTS. The left pier and measurement of Boloradzor Bridge

BANANTS. Mazi Bridge

BANANTS. Mazi Bridge

BANANTS. Yekeghetsadzor Bridge

BANANTS. Yekeghetsadzor Bridge

BANANTS. A bridge

BANANTS. Sourb Astvatzatzin and St. Grigor Lusavorich Churches

BANANTS. Sourb Astvatzatzin and St. Grigor Lusavorich Churches

BANANTS. Sourb Astvatzatzin and St. Grigor Lusavorich Churches

BANANTS. St. Grigor Lusavorich Church

BANANTS. St. Grigor Lusavorich Church

BANANTS. St. Grigor Lusavorich Church

BANANTS. St. Grigor Lusavorich Church

BANANTS. St. Grigor Lusavorich Church

BANANTS. The plans of Sourb Astvatzatzin and St. Grigor Lusavorich Churches

BANANTS. The bema and concha of St. Grigor Lusavorich Church. Its entrances opening from its southern and western facades

BANANTS. The bema and concha of St. Grigor Lusavorich Church. Its entrances opening from its southern and western facades

BANANTS. The bema and concha of St. Grigor Lusavorich Church. Its entrances opening from its southern and western facades

BANANTS. The bema and concha of St. Grigor Lusavorich Church. Its entrances opening from its southern and western facades

BANANTS. Sourb Astvatzatzin Church seen from the north-west and east. Cross-stones set in the western and eastern facades of the church

BANANTS. Sourb Astvatzatzin Church seen from the north-west and east. Cross-stones set in the western and eastern facades of the church

BANANTS. Sourb Astvatzatzin Church seen from the north-west and east. Cross-stones set in the western and eastern facades of the church

BANANTS. Sourb Astvatzatzin Church seen from the north-west and east. Cross-stones set in the western and eastern facades of the church

BANANTS. Sourb Astvatzatzin Church seen from the north-west and east. Cross-stones set in the western and eastern facades of the church

BANANTS. Tombstones set in the eastern facade of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Tombstones set in the eastern facade of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Tombstones set in the eastern facade of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Tombstones set in the eastern facade of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Tombstones set in the eastern facade of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Tombstones set in the eastern facade of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Tombstones set in the eastern facade of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars found inside Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Khachkars set in the walls of Sourb Astvatzatzin Church

BANANTS. Partial views of the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Partial views of the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Partial views of the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Partial views of the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. A tombstone found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Tombstones and khachkars found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Tombstones and khachkars found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Tombstones and khachkars found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Tombstones and khachkars found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Tombstones and khachkars found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Tombstones and khachkars found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Ornamental reliefs carved on 19th-century tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Ornamental reliefs carved on 19th-century tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Ornamental reliefs carved on 19th-century tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Ornamental reliefs carved on 19th-century tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Ornamental reliefs carved on 19th-century tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Ornamental reliefs carved on 19th-century tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Ornamental reliefs carved on 19th-century tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. Ornamental reliefs carved on 19th-century tombstones found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. The memorial cross-stone of Tsits Kar at the eastern edge of the cemetery

BANANTS. The memorial cross-stone of Tsits Kar at the eastern edge of the cemetery

BANANTS. The memorial cross-stone of Tsits Kar at the eastern edge of the cemetery

BANANTS. The memorial cross-stone of Tsits Kar at the eastern edge of the cemetery (reconstruction)

BANANTS. A cross-stone found in the older part of the cemetery

BANANTS. The chapel of Tzer Pap

BANANTS. The chapel of Tzer Pap

BANANTS. The chapel of Tzer Pap

BANANTS. The chapel of Khelpants Khach

BANANTS. The chapel of Khelpants Khach

BANANTS. The chapel of Khelpants Khach

BANANTS. The spring of Yants

BANANTS. The spring of Yants

BANANTS. Bnichants Spring

BANANTS. Bnichants Spring

BANANTS. The spring of Shinutagh, 1903

BANANTS. The spring of Shinutagh, 1903

BANANTS. The spring of Khach, 1904

BANANTS. The spring of Khach, 1904

BANANTS. A cemetery of cross-stones known as Yeghetsy Hogher

BANANTS. A cemetery of cross-stones known as Yeghetsy Hogher

BANANTS. A cemetery of cross-stones known as Yeghetsy Hogher

BANANTS. A cemetery of cross-stones known as Yeghetsy Hogher

BANANTS. Stone specimensof water pipes

BANANTS. Targmanchats Cloister seen from the southeast, south and south-west

BANANTS. Targmanchats Cloister seen from the southeast, south and south-west

BANANTS. Targmanchats Cloister seen from the southeast, south and south-west

BANANTS. The belfry of Targmanchats Cloister seen from the east. The frame of a window opening from the eastern facade of the church, and the plan of the cloister

BANANTS. The belfry of Targmanchats Cloister seen from the east. The frame of a window opening from the eastern facade of the church, and the plan of the cloister

BANANTS. The belfry of Targmanchats Cloister seen from the east. The frame of a window opening from the eastern facade of the church, and the plan of the cloister

BANANTS. An interior view of the church of Targmanchats Cloister, its eastern facade and northerly section together with measurements

BANANTS. An interior view of the church of Targmanchats Cloister, its eastern facade and northerly section together with measurements

BANANTS. An interior view of the church of Targmanchats Cloister, its eastern facade and northerly section together with measurements

BANANTS. An interior view of the church of Targmanchats Cloister, its eastern facade and northerly section together with measurements

BANANTS. The western entrance of the church of Targmanchats Cloister and inscriptions engraved on the walls of the belfry

BANANTS. The western entrance of the church of Targmanchats Cloister and inscriptions engraved on the walls of the belfry

BANANTS. The western entrance of the church of Targmanchats Cloister and inscriptions engraved on the walls of the belfry

BANANTS. The monastic cells and hatsatun (a building where bread is baked and kept) of Targmanchats Cloister

BANANTS. The monastic cells and hatsatun (a building where bread is baked and kept) of Targmanchats Cloister

BANANTS. The monastic cells and hatsatun (a building where bread is baked and kept) of Targmanchats Cloister

BANANTS. Cross-stones found inside the church of Targmanchats Cloister

BANANTS. Cross-stones found inside the church of Targmanchats Cloister

BANANTS. Cross-stones found inside the church of Targmanchats Cloister

BANANTS. Cross-stones found inside the church of Targmanchats Cloister

BANANTS. Cross-stones found inside the church of Targmanchats Cloister

BANANTS. Above: a fragment found in the sanctuary of Dzernavor. Below: cross-stones preserved in the ancient site of Mandur

BANANTS. Above: a fragment found in the sanctuary of Dzernavor. Below: cross-stones preserved in the ancient site of Mandur

BANANTS. Cross-stones from the ancient site of Khendzori Aghbyur (1087, 10th to 11th cents., 16th cent.)

BANANTS. Cross-stones from the ancient site of Khendzori Aghbyur (1087, 10th to 11th cents., 16th cent.)

BANANTS. Cross-stones from the ancient site of Khendzori Aghbyur (1087, 10th to 11th cents., 16th cent.)

BANANTS. Cross-stones from the site of Sheni Hand (10th to 11th cents.)

BANANTS. Cross-stones from the site of Sheni Hand (10th to 11th cents.)

BANANTS. Cross-stones from the ancient sites of Mknatami Khach (16th cent.), Khendzori Aghbyur (16th to 17th cents.) and Aknidzor (1101)

BANANTS. Cross-stones from the ancient sites of Mknatami Khach (16th cent.), Khendzori Aghbyur (16th to 17th cents.) and Aknidzor (1101)

BANANTS. Cross-stones from the ancient sites of Mknatami Khach (16th cent.), Khendzori Aghbyur (16th to 17th cents.) and Aknidzor (1101)

BANANTS. A settlement site of the late Bronze Age and a semi-ruined church in the site of Yekeghetsadzor

BANANTS. A settlement site of the late Bronze Age and a semi-ruined church in the site of Yekeghetsadzor

BANANTS. A settlement site of the late Bronze Age and a semi-ruined church in the site of Yekeghetsadzor

BANANTS. A settlement site of the late Bronze Age and a semi-ruined church in the site of Yekeghetsadzor

BANANTS. A settlement site of the late Bronze Age and a semi-ruined church in the site of Yekeghetsadzor

BANANTS. A settlement site of the late Bronze Age and a semi-ruined church in the site of Yekeghetsadzor

Residents of Banants. Stepan Ter-Avetikian

Residents of Banants. Vazgen Ter-Avetikian (sitting above) and Stepan Ter-Avetikian with Lusik Vazgen Ter-Avetikian in his arms.

Residents of Banants. Poghos Poghossian (Kachal), Atanes Tnisants, Maki Ohanian (Sayunts); standing: Sargis Badalian (Muradants), Hovhannes Anton Seyranian (Bor-bor) and Stepan Ton Tonian (his father moved to Banants from Tonashen Village of Jraberd). Photo 1908

Residents of Banants. Grigor Ohanian (Tatoghli)

Residents of Banants. A warrior

The fighters of Colonel Yegor Ter-Avetikian

   DASHKESAN district. BANANTS
    Location. The village is situated on the southeast-facing slope of a gorge lying on the left bank of the river Artinajur, on the ancient highway of Banants-Karhat, which also leads to the Sevan Basin, 7 kilometres north-east of the district centre, at an altitude of 1,000 to 1,100 metres above sea level.
   The toponym of 'Banants' derives from the Armenian word 'bananots,' which means a 'place of work.'
   Means of Communication. Being under Banants Armenians' permanent care, the highway, that extended through the village, and especially, its Banants-Gandzak Section, repeatedly underwent reconstruction. Before 1870, however, it was so difficult of passage that it bore a close resemblance to a path rather than a road. It was in that very same year that a local inhabitant named Hovsep Ter-Israyeliants started building and soon completed a highway stretching up to Gandzak at 3,000 rubles, his fellow villagers actively participating in its construction. They also erected a stone bridge to facilitate traffic even further._*3
   In 1884 village head A. Ter-Avetikian embarked upon the construction of the second road leading to Gandzak, which was of great help to those owning gardens a long way from Banants._*4
   Meeting the suggestion of the Governor of Gandzak, in 1903 the Village Assembly decided to open a cart-road to Gandzak. With 242 voices supporting the idea, the participants agreed that it should extend not from the spring of Meketz_*5 but from a place called Nerkin Hand (the Armenian equivalent for Lower Field), where the gardens of Banants lay. Although it required harder efforts to be completed, it was sure to be of greater benefit in the future._*6
   The general condition of the roads connecting Banants with the adjacent villages did not get any better in the subsequent years. With this regard, a visitor wrote the following in 1923, "The poor state of the highways and the difficulty of communication make one cover about 10 versts either on foot or on different animals, for there are absolutely no roads for carts or carriages. Last year head of the "Azerbaijani Oil" Serebrovski promised to provide Banants with the building material necessary for the construction of roads, if only the village gained the right to have its own railway carriage..."_*7
   Archaeological Monuments. The neighbourhood of Banants is rich in a great number of tumuli, which attests that the area of the middle course of the river Artinajur has been densely-populated since time immemorial. In 1899 German archaeologist Emil Resler, one of the first scholars to conduct investigation into the tombs of the area, wrote, "...I unearthed 14 tombs with 17 graves dating from the period between the Bronze and Iron Ages."_*8
   The archaeological finds of Banants include a cuneiform inscription._*9
   A Historical Introduction. Despite Banants' centuries-old existence and the glorious past it surely boasts, the history of the village is very scantily recorded. One of the earliest sources mentioning the toponym traces back to 1625, when "...both the old and the young of Banants..."_*10 participated in the mending of a Gospel (1453), the main work being carried out by a certain Hovhannes Shatakhetsy._*11
   In the late 19th century, the village was the residence of landowners Hovsep Bey Ter-Israyeliants and Hovsep Ter-Hovsepiants, who owned a local site called Aghkhach (Shahdagh)._*12
   On the whole, Banants did not suffer any damage during the Armeno-Turkish fights of 1905 to 1906, for the Turkish mob did not dare to attack the village openly. Some of its inhabitants, however, did not escape the ambushes set up by the enemy. Thus, on 16 March 1906, Karapet Baliants, his nephew and two sons were killed while grazing 65 head of cattle: the bandits slew the 9-year-old boy and shot the others._*13
   On 16 May of the same year, Zakar Shahmuradiants, another local resident of 34, fell victim to some Turks who had been lying in ambush for him._*14
   On 19 September 1906, Artem Atanassian was shot by a treacherous bullet: "On the morning of the 19th, unspeakable fuss and tumult permeated Banants: a young man walked through the village weeping bitterly, hitting his head and mourning his brother's loss. To the people's question what had happened, the dumbfounded fellow told them the following, 'My brother and I were on our way to the Armenian village of Karhat. We had already reached Orhneli Ser_*15 when all of a sudden a report was heard from among the bushes, and my brother, who was a few steps ahead of me, was knocked down. I myself had a miraculous escape from the bandits.'
   "The young fellows of the village immediately took up arms and hurried to the scene of the tragedy. After a two-hour search, they finally managed to find Artem Atanassian's corpse, blood-soaked and shot in three parts. One of the most courageous young men in the village, he had just been demobilized..."_*16
   Between 1918 and 1920, inhabitants of Banants Colonel Yegor Ter-Avetikian and Grigor Ohanian (Tatoghli) distinguished themselves at the battles against the Turkish aggressors and Musavatist bandits._*17
   Construction Activity. In 1886 a visitor wrote that Banants was remarkable for its "...densely-located houses some of which boasted cosiness and comfort..."_*18
   In 1898 the village was described in the following way, "It has some crooked paths which are only an apology for streets. Most of its houses consist of ordinary rooms the oldest of which were built some 33 years ago. The rest represent small, sunken cabins."_*19
   Banants has several quarters named after different families. Thus, the lower section of the village, beginning from the river bank and extending westward, is called Terunts after the Terians_*20 The Ter-Mkrtchians' and Balians' (Kash-Avagians') Quarters lie west of it, i.e. in the centre of the village, in the north of which the Lokians' (Lokunts) and Kikians' (Kikunts) houses are situated. Parallel with the development and enlargement of Banants, another two quarters were established on the right bank of the river Artinajur. One of them, called Aygestan, is more known by the name of Dimats Tegh (the Armenian equivalent for an 'Opposite Place'). The other, which is named Eliants, is located in the vicinity of the ancient site of Yeghetsy Hogh (the Armenian equivalent for 'Church Land').
   The centre of the village, where six principal roads intersect, represents a small square called Poghotsk.
   Population. From at least the 4th to 3rd millennia B.C. until the deportation of 1989, Banants was one of the most populous villages in Northern Artsakh. This is attested by the abundance of large cemeteries (they date from the pre-Christian era and the Middle Ages) as well as standing and ruined churches and chapels preserved in its neighbourhood.
   In contrast to this, records on the number of the local population can be found only beginning with the early 19th century. The analysis of the available data reveals that they constantly increased during the period between the 19th century and the establishment of the Soviet rule. The following list of families living in Banants in 1839 is of special importance to the study of their history:
   "1 Maki Chopuriants, his mother Sandukht, his wife Mariam as well as his son Yesayi and his daughter Nazi; Maki's brother Hakob, his wife Anakhas and his son Hovhannes; Maki's nephew Harutiun with his niece Yeghisabet;
   2 Abraham Mosesov together with his wife Mariam and his son Petros; Abraham's brothers Harutiun, and Hakob with his wife Mariam and his son Hovhannes;
   3 Zakar Melikov, his wife Mariam, his children Stepan and Herik as well as his brother Avag;
   4 Grigor Poghosov, his wife Mariam and their daughter Zani; Grigor's brother Dadi and his wife Shoghakat;
   5 Ghukas Jaladov and his wife Gyuli with their son Martiros and their daughter Vardi; Ghukas' sister Mariam and his brother Virap with his wife Salbi;
   6 Ohanes Melikov, his sister Sabed as well as his brothers Tzatur and Galust;
   7 Sahak Zuliov, his wife Mariam as well as his nephew Grigor and his niece Mariam;
   8 Sargis Barseghov, his wife Yeghisabet, their son Martiros as well as their daughters Herik and Margaret;
   9 Poghos Kostiov, his wife Margaret as well as their son Andreas and his wife Sabed; Poghos' nephew Vardan, his wife Horomsim and their daughter Nazi;
   10 Barber Sargis, his wife Sirun as well as their sons Maki with his wife Mariam and his son Gevorg, and Grigor with his wife Anakhas and his daughter Mariam;
   11 Ovanes Ayvazov, his wife Marinos, their son Mosi as well as their daughters Herik and Sabed; Ovanes' brother Daniel, his wife Margaret as well as their son Maki and their daughter Rehan;
   12 Grigor Shahumov, his wife Margaret as well as their children Hakob, Sarah and Herik;
   13 Grigor Thorosov, his wife Khanum as well as their children Makar, Nazi and Zani;
   14 Gabriel Ter-Mkrtchiants and his wife Gayane together with their son Rusian and his wife Sabet; Gabriel's daughter-in-law Shoghakat, her son Gevorg, his wife Mariam and their son Ohannes; Gabriel's brother Harutiun, his wife Herik and their son Stepan;
   15 Petros Vanian, his wife Gyuli as well as their sons Avag and Khachatur; Petros' brother Poghos, his wife Mariam as well as their daughters Magtagh and Gyuli;
   16 Khachatur, his wife Guli as well as their children Karapet and Horomsim;
   17 Stepan Ter-Avetissian, his wife Margaret as well as their children Grigor, Ohanes and Khatun; Stepan's brother Harutiun, his wife Shoghi and their daughter Magtagh;
   18 Nerses Chelalov, his wife Marinos as well as their daughters Nazi and Herik; Nerses' brother Ghazar and his wife Margaret;
   19 Grigor Avagian, his sons Vardan with his wife Mariam, and Sargis with his daughters Horom and Zani; Grigor's nephew Ghukas and his wife Margaret;
   20 Ohanes Petrosov, his wife Mariam and their son Arzuman; Ohanes' nephew Maki, his wife Zani as well as his brothers Ghukas and Navasard;
   21 Arakel Ter-Ohanov, his wife Herik as well as their children David and Sabet; Arakel's nephew Yesayi, his wife Mariam as well as their children Mkrtich, Sandukht and Rehan;
   22 Harutiun Shushapazian and his wife Sarah with their children Sargis, Gozal, Pari and Herik; Harutiun's brother Grigor, his wife Herik and their son Mkrtum;
   23 Ohanes Ananiants with his wife Mariam and his mother Nazi;
   24 Karapet Gulunts, his wife Marinos as well as his children Sargis, Shoghi and Mariam;
   25 Karapet Tzapovian, his wife Horomsim as well as his brother Ohannes with his spouse Sarah and his son Poghos;
   26 Grigor Manishakov, his wife Khanum as well as their children Stepan, Mariam and Khatun; Grigor's brother Poghos, his wife Aziz as well as their daughters Ana and Sarah;
   27 Ghuli Ter-Yeghian and his wife Khatun with their son Harutiun and their daughter Vari;
   28 Ohan Hakobian, his wife Shoghakat as well as their son Grigor with his wife Khanum; Ohan's brother Ghazar and his grandchild Kyuli;
   29 Harutiun Zakarian, his wife Aziz as well as their children Sargis, Barsam, Horom and Margaret; Harutiun's brother Hanes, his wife Mariam as well as their children Mateos, Karapet and Vari;
   30 Hakob Dapiov, his wife Sabet, their sons Virap and Stepan as well as their daughters Herik and Magtagh; Hakob's brother Grigor, his wife Yeghisabet as well as his children Karapet, Marinos and Vari;
   31 Martiros Badalian and his wife Nazi with their children Anton, Pari and Vardi; Martiros' brother Harutiun and his wife Dada;
   32 Moses Ghabuzov, his wife Shahpar, their son Harutiun as well as their daughters Sona and Ana;
   33 Aghajan Nalbandov, his wife Mariam as well as their children Ohanes, Nerses, Yeghisabet and Magtagh; Aghajan's nephew Hovsep, his wife Anna as well as their sons Anton, Zaki and Vari;
   34 Sargis Grigorov and his wife Yeprosine with their son Galust, their daughter-in-law Mariam and their grandchild Ohannes; Sargis' brothers Galust, and Barsegh with his wife Sabed; Sargis' nephew Avet, his wife Margaret as well as their children Poghos, Vardi and Khatun;
   35 Tsakan Adeanov, his wife Mato, their children Harutiun, Rehan and Herik as well as Tsakan's brother Maki;
   36 Aghajan Mateossian, his wife Sabed and their son Mateos with his wife Khanum; Aghajan's brother Sargis, his wife Mahalep (Mahpep) as well as his children Harutiun, Poghos and Shoghi;
   37 Papa with his wife Javahir, his sons Gabriel, Grigor and Maki as well as his daughters Vari and Khanum;
   38 Margar Banuchian, his wife Horom and their son Maki with his wife Mariam and his son Ohannes; Margar's brother Avag, his wife Nazi as well as their children Stepan, Grigor, Marinos, Khatun and Sandukht;
   39 Ohan Ter-Khachaturian and his wife Marinos with their son Grigor, his wife Mariam and his children Sabed and Hovsep; Ohan's nephew Ghevond, his wife Gyuli and their son Hanes with his wife Vardi; Ohan's brother Ohannes with his children Ghevond, Poghos, Mariam and Sabed;
   40 Hovsep Tusiov, his wife Gyuli as well as their children Stepan, Moses and Mariam; Hovsep's brother Grigor, his wife Sandukht as well as their children Hakob, Petros and Poghos;
   41 Hovsep Ter-Osepian's son Nerses, his nephew Grigor as well as his sister Zani and his brother Sargis;
   42 Moses Voskanian, his sons Mnatsakan and Hovhannes, his nephew, widower Avet with his sons G... and Karapet;
   43 Ghazar Arakelian and his wife Margaret; Ghazar's brother Grigor, his wife Nazi and their daughter Mariam;
   44 Theodoros Hakobian, his wife Vardi, his mother Sharmagh as well as his brother Karapet with his wife Aziz and his daughter Mariam;
   45 Abraham Hovakimian, his wife Mariam as well as their children Rehan and Theodoros; Abraham's brothers Martiros, and Maki with his wife Sandukht as well as his children Herik and Karapet;
   46 Ghuli Hayrapetian, his brother Karapet, his wife Zari as well as his son Maki with his spouse Guli;
   47 Galust Ter-Ghukasov, his wife Mariam as well as their children Mateos and Vardi; Galust's brother Ohan and his wife Horomsim;
   48 Sargis Muntoyan, his wife Mariam as well as their children Ohanes, Grigor, Galust and Ana;
   49 Martiros Dalakian, his wife Mariam as well as their children Hanes, Marinos, Zari and Vardi."_*21
   The inhabitants of Banants were distinguished for their longevity. One of them, Musunts Hay,_*22 died at the age of 103: "Recently Musunts Mnatsakan yielded up his spirit to God, having lived on the earth for a hundred and three years: he was born in 1801..."_*23
   Musunts Hay was buried "...at the top of a mountain called Tati Ser, which towered near the village. His fellow villagers were convinced that the old man's soul would keep a watchful eye on his birthplace from that height, ever asking the Lord to have mercy upon it..."_*24
   The available statistical records on the number of the population of Banants between 1804 and 1917 represent the following picture:
Year Houses Males Females Total Source
180425 51 100 80 180 Collected Acts..., vol. 2, p. 596.
183926 49 191 191 382 National Archives of Armenia, fund 53, list 1, file 3800, pp. 33-34.
184527 477 414 891 Idem, file 3811, pp. 4-5.
184728 485 439 916 Idem, file 3814, pp. 96-97.
184929 509 438 947 Idem, file 3818, pp. 96-97.
185030 118 519 509 1,028 Idem, file 56, list 1, file 2596, p. 110.
185231 529 517 1,046 Idem, file 3819, pp. 106-107.
185332 536 523 1,059 Idem, file 2743, pp. 16-18.
185433 553 527 1,080 Idem, file 3825, pp. 68-69.
185634 582 562 1,144 Idem, file 3828, p. 112.
185735 589 579 1,168 Idem, file 3830, pp. 74-75.
185836 595 582 1,177 Idem, file 3831, pp. 41-42.
186037 599 584 1,183 Idem, file 3833, pp. 108-109.
186138 75 Idem, file 3835, pp. 147-148.
186339 620 580 1,200 Idem, file 3843, pp. 15-16.
186440 635 595 1,230 Idem, file 3846, pp. 23-24.
186541 103 640 595 1,235 "Nor-Dar," 1889, No. 204, p. 2. Also see National Archives of Armenia, fund 53, list 1, file 3848, pp. 49-50.
186642 146 709 573 1,282 National Archives of Armenia, fund 53, list 1, file 3848, p. 57.
187243 964 874 1,838 Idem, file 3872, pp. 62-63.
187344 1,644 Idem, file 3864, pp. 39-40.
187445 1,560 Caucasian Calendar for 1886, p. 124.
187546 1,704 National Archives of Armenia, fund 53, list 1, file 3866 pp. 44-45.
187647 1,739 Idem, file 3868, pp. 57-58.
187748 923 843 1,766 National Archives of Armenia, fund 53, list 1, file 3869, pp. 54-55.
187849 929 836 1,765 Idem, file 3870, pp. 22-23.
188150 990 883 1,873 Idem, file 3873, pp. 27-28.
188251 1,021 911 1,932 Idem, file 3874, p. 30.
188352 1,003 884 1,887 Idem, file 3875, pp. 56-57.
188553 950 900 1,850 Idem, file 3877, p. 29.
188654 174 1,135 860 1,995 A Statistical Survey..., pp. 78-79. According to another statistical source, the village had 272 houses in the same year ("Nor-Dar," 1889, No. 204, p. 2).
188755 1,029 925 1,954 National Archives of Armenia, fund 53, list 1, file 3880, p. 73.
188856 1,063 951 2,014 Idem, file 3883, p. 131.
188957 1,076 952 2,028 Idem, file 3884, pp. 226-227.
189058 1,104 981 2,085 Idem, file 3887, p. 150.
189159 1,144 ? ? Idem, file 3889, p. 149.
189260 1,198 1,131 2,329 Idem, file 3891, p. 121.
189361 1,221 1,145 2,366 Idem, file 3895, pp. 77-78.
189462 1,232 1,180 2,412 Idem, file 3896, pp. 174-175.
189763 1,326 1,279 2,605 Idem, file 3899, pp. 147-148.
189864 1,374 1,312 2,686 Idem, file 3897, p. 169.
189965 1,382 1,316 2,698 Idem, file 3903, pp. 126-127.
190066 1,390 1,333 2,723 Idem, file 3905, pp. 91-92.
190167 1,436 1,365 2,801 Idem, file 3906, pp. 97-98.
190268 1,431 1,384 2,815 Idem, file 3907, pp. 23-24.
190569 1,448 1,392 2,840 Idem, file 3912, pp. 266-267.
190670 1,516 1,412 2,928 Idem, file 3915, p. 24.
190771 2,310 National Archives of Armenia, fund 56, list 1, file 240, p. 2.
190872 262 1,156 930 2,086 National Archives of Armenia, fund 35, list 1, file 559, p. 10. The village had 2,070 inhabitants in the same year (Caucasian Calendar for 1910, p. 201).
190973 1,462 1,394 2,856 National Archives of Armenia, fund 56, list 18, file 764, p. 117.
191074 1,203 971 2,174 National Archives of Armenia, fund 53, list 1, file 3917, pp. 57-58.
191275 1,508 1,423 2,931 Idem, file 3919, pp. 62-63.
191476 2,390 Caucasian Calendar for 1915, p. 98.
191777 400 2,596 Avetissian, M. M. A Reference Book on the Settlements and Population Number of Nagorno Karabakh and Zangezur (1917). In: \"Banber Hayastani Arkhivneri,\" 1991, No. 3, p. 166, in Armenian.
197678 1,675 SAE, vol. 1, p. 541.

 


   With the last inhabitants deported on 27 July 1989, the Armenian spirit finally died away in the centuries-old village._*79 The former Armenians of Banants, now reduced to the state of refugees, mainly resettled in the subdistricts of Vardenis (Gegharkunik Marz) and Meghri (Syunik Marz) of the Republic of Armenia._*80
   Occupation. Mining. Apart from being occupied with different crafts, Banants Armenians "...used to be engaged in trade and iron processing: they obtained metal from the iron ore found in the nearby mountains and made various tools. However, the iron imported from Russia turning out cheaper, they were soon obliged to give up that business, especially taking into account the fact that the authorities had started taxing coal heavily."_*81
   With this regard, Yerkatakarian, one of the correspondents of the "Nor-Dar" periodical, writes, "Some fifty to sixty years ago, Banants Armenians dug the soil to a great depth and obtained round iron ores which were then crumbled into tiny pieces with a huge hammer, put into a furnace and fused together. In that manner, they extracted iron to make tools necessary for the villagers. At present the immense holes whose depth petrifies everybody are the only reminders of those days. It is already a long time since the local inhabitants quitted the processing of iron."_*82
   Banants used to have seven iron processing mills.
   Coal Mining. Directly connected with mining, this craft was quitted parallel with the cessation of iron processing and the reduction of wooded areas.
   Farming. In the mid-19th century, the people of Banants were in bad need of land: "Despite the fact that the number of the local inhabitants is increasing year by year, their means of existence remain absolutely the same. Although they have multiplied for several times, they are still fed on the same amount of bread as some fifty years ago. Moreover, at present everybody attempts to earn his living through farming, since they have no other means of income, whereas in those times, husbandry was concentrated in the hands of only a few families. The arable lands, however, are highly insufficient: the yearly share of the soil allocated to every house amounts to 2 to 3 oravars,_*83 which yield a very scanty amount of wheat."_*84
   The shortage of land was so acute that some of the local inhabitants even thought of leaving Banants and resettling somewhere else.
   The Armenians of Banants used to celebrate the festival of Vardavar_*85 with great solemnity._*86
   The parish school of Banants was one of the oldest educational institutions in Northern Artsakh that provided regular instruction. The available archive documents are not unanimous in mentioning the exact time of its foundation, the possible dates oscillating between 1871 and 1873. According to a contemporary press publication, it started working in 1873 through the efforts of a certain N. Ter-Nersissiants from Gandzak._*87
   By 1876 to 1877, the school had earned itself such high repute that it admitted boarding-pupils not only from the adjacent villages but also those located in the Sevan Basin._*88 Despite that, however, it remained closed throughout the year 1878 and reopened only through the mediation of Diocese Inspector H. Ter-Hovhannissian and his assistant M. Yepiskopossian, who visited Banants on 21 October of the same year, concerned about its fate._*89 With this respect, the former writes, "Taking advantage of the fact that it was Sunday and the parishioners had some leisure, I invited them to discuss the reopening and further work of the school. Gladly accepting every suggestion we made, they unanimously decided to allocate some fines as well as the money received from the village pastures and other means, coming up to about 600 rubles per year, to that institution so that it would function without any obstacles. New trustees having been appointed, I declared it reopened, since I had taken Mr. V. Yeghiazariants with me to teach there. Classes were to be held in a two-room house which had a yard and a garden and was quite convenient for the purpose. So great was the people's enthusiasm that one of them, Mr. Ter-Michaeliants, who owned the aforementioned dwelling, agreed to take no rent for it, and one of the trustees, Mr. Hovsep Ter-Israyeliants, provided the teacher with a room to live in absolutely free of charge."_*90 The diocese inspector continues, "The easiness with which we achieved the reopening of Banants' school can be primarily explained by the local people's longing for education. Besides, some of them proved of great instrumentality in that affair and I find it my duty to mention their names: the village head, Priests Poghos and Andreas as well as Mr. Hovsep Ter-Israyeliants, who is a member and treasurer of the school's Board of Trustees."_*91
   The new building of the institution is described in the following way, "...the school, built in the site of the ancient ruined church of Sourb Astvatzatzin_*92 in 1886, is located within the enclosure of the present-day church. A two-floor structure of a tiled roof, it covers an area of about 455 square sazhens,_*93 including four large rooms, a yard and an enclosure..."_*94
   The foundations of the school were laid on 5 July 1887 on the initiative of the village head's brother, Doctor Yagor Hovhannissiants, who dedicated it to his prematurely dead son._*95
   In 1903 Banants Armenians applied to Gandzak's spiritual powers for permission to erect a new building for the institution._*96
   In the school year 1911/12, it owned a library of 750 books._*97
   Below follow further details concerning the activity of the school between1871 and 1913: Year Further Information Teachers Pupils


Village Heads. Throughout its history, Banants had a great number of outstanding village heads some of whom are mentioned below:
   Stepan Hovhannissiants'_*120 governance (1878) marked the foundation of a stone bridge (1886) over the river Artinajur. It was completed within a year at 2,000 rubles allocated by the villagers._*121
   In 1884 A. T. Avetikian initiated the construction of the second road leading to Gandzak._*122
   In 1903 Hovsep Ter-Hovsepiants held the post of village head._*123
   In 1906 S. Hakobiants was elected village head, an archive document stating the following with that regard, "...2 October. Today we gathered to elect a new village head and unanimously gave our voices for Sargis Hakobiants, Mamikon Badaliants being appointed his assistant. All the villagers were pleased with the results of the elections..."_*124
   In 1913 "the local inhabitants unitedly elected Garegin Yepiskopossian as village head and Hovhannes Seyranian as his deputy..."_*125
   In 1903 a hospital functioned in Banants._*126
   The Local Houses. Before 1988 one could see several dwellings of flat earthen roofs standing side by side with double- and even three-storey stone edifices in the village. Banants was distinguished for its residential buildings which were rich in construction inscriptions, the oldest of them dating from the first half of the 19th century. These inscriptions appear in print for the first time.

   9 lines in the Armenian original carved on the wooden pillar of a hipped-roof house whose last proprietress was Margaret Vazgen Avetikian:
    ճ | س ˳, | ݤ 1831: |  뻳 | ʳ | ڳ| ݻ | :
   
transl.: I, Stepan's wife Margaret, did some work in the year 1831. I, Khachatur Ter-Avetissian's son Stepan, and I, Harutiun, built this house.

   Carved on the wooden capital of an old ruined house (at present set in one of the walls of a new dwelling):
   1843:

   Engraved on the capital of the wooden pillar of a house having a yerdik:_*127
 
 1875:
   4 lines in the Armenian original carved on a house whose last proprietor was Makich Hovhannes Atanessian (Bobli):

    | ѳݿ | γ |óݿ뻥, 10.11.1884:
   
transl.: This house is for the enjoyment of Hovhannes Karapet Antanessiants, 10.11.1884.

   3 lines in the Armenian original incised into a dwelling whose last proprietress was Haykuhi Hambardzum Movsissian (Musunts):
   ݻ |  |뻳, 1884:
   
transl.: This house was built by the Ter-Movsissiants,1884.

   2 lines in the Armenian original engraved on a house whose last proprietress was Vardanush Virab Harutiunian (Lkanunts):
   1885 񹻳ٵ ݻ ݻ ݹ | ﻳ ϳ:
   
transl.: In the year 1885 this house was built through the means of Mkrtich and Kostand Galstian Nerkarariants.

   Carved on a dwelling whose last owner was Hovhannes Gevorg Gevorgian:
 
 1887:

   A single arch-shaped line in the Armenian original engraved on a house whose last proprietress was Sabet Vardazar Chalumian:

   1899 ݻ ݻ ڳ ݳ:
 
 transl.: 1899. This room was built by Hakob Beknazariants.

   A single arch-shaped line in the Armenian original incised into a dwelling whose last proprietor was Stepan Tigran Beknazarian:
   1899 ݻ ݻ Ƿ ݳ:
   
transl.: 1899. This room was built by Grigor Beknazariants.

   4 lines in the Armenian original engraved on a dwelling whose last owner was Hambardzum Khachatur Israyelian (Donunts):
    ݻݻ| ݻ 񹻳ٵ | ڳ |ۿɻ, 1905 .:
 
 transl.: These rooms were built through the means of Harutiun Ter-Israyeliants, 1905.

   7 lines in the Armenian original carved on a residential building:
    ݻݻ |ݻ 񹻳ٵ | ۿ ۻ|, 1905 , | |ٵ ݪ | ³:
   
transl.: I, Michael Batayants, and my wife Taguhi built these rooms through our means in the year 1905.

   5 lines in the Armenian original incised into a house whose last proprietor was Isak Arshak Danielian:
   1910 . ٳ. 1- | ϳ | ˳| ѳݿ| ݻ:
   
transl.: On 1 ... 1910 I built this house with my own means. Hovhannissian Seyraniants.

   5 lines in the Armenian original incised into a dwelling which housed the Village Council before 1988:
    ϻջ|ϳ | Ƿ ʳ| س|߳ϻ, 1910 .:
   
transl.: Donated to the church school by Grigor Khachatrian Manushakiants,1910.

   4 lines in the Armenian original carved on a house whose last proprietor was Sasha Makich Jaghetian:
   1910 . | | 1911 ., ٿ | . տû:
 
 transl.: This building was founded in 1910 and completed in 1911, Simeon G. Jaghetiants.

   5 lines in the Armenian original ngraved on a house whose last owner was Avetis Grigor Ghavalian:
    | , | 1901, | ݻ 1911 .:
 
 transl.: This is Muntunts Yeprem's abode, which I purchased in 1901 and repaired in 1911.  

   3 lines in the Armenian original incised into a dwelling whose last owner was Khachatur Vanik Avagian (Jojunts):
    ۳|, | . ٥ݻݤ, 1924:
   
transl.: With the sweat of his brow, Sh. Simonian, 1924.

   4 lines in the Armenian original engraved on a residential building whose last proprietress was Emma Mkrtich Mkrtchian (Ebruzunts):
   1925 . ѥ ǥݻ | |ѳ뻳, ݥݤ ѥ | 㻳:
   
transl.: In 1925 Varduhi Hovhannissian built the upper floor and Mkrtich Mkrtichian the lower one.

   4 lines in the Armenian original incised into a house whose last owner was Mekhak Yeprem Mkrtchian:
    | 1925 ., ݻ 1929 | ػ˳ | ۳:
 
 transl.: I bought this house in 1925 and repaired it in 1929. Mekhak Yeprem Mkrtchiants.

   6 lines in the Armenian original carved on a dwelling whose last proprietress was Ziravard Hovakim Begian:
    ݻ ѥ ݻ | ݻ 2 | . | 1928 ., | ݤ ѥ ݻ 1929 . ϳ| ϳ:
 
 transl.: The lower storey of this house was built by Sargis Seyraniants and his two sons. Avetis died in 1928 and his younger son Alik built the upper floor in 1929, fulfilling his father's wish.

   2 lines in the Armenian original incised into an abode whose last owner was Karen Arshak Movsissian (Musunts):     ߳ | -۳, 1929 .:
   
transl.: This house was built by Arshak Ter-Movsissiants, 1929.

   Engraved on a dwelling whose last proprietor was Sergi Gulyan. The inscription was covered with plaster, but the local inhabitants knew it by heart:

   ̳ ѳ ݻ, ۻɻ, ߳ ջ, ݻ ߻, ٻ:
   
transl.: I founded my house in the prime of life, but I failed to enjoy it and handed it down to my son. May you, passers-by, remember me and pray for me.

   Bridges Metz. (the Armenian equivalent for 'Greater') or Hin (the Armenian equivalent for 'Older,') Bridge, dating from the 17th century, extends over the river Artinajur, at the south-eastern edge of Banants. It represents a single-span structure of undressed stone and mortar, with its span 9.25 metres long, and its passage 4.90 metres wide. The cornerstones of its vault-bearing arch are finely-cut. A vaulted room can be seen on each side of the bridge: probably, they used to serve as sentry-boxes, guest-chambers, or customs houses.
   Yants Bridge (18th century), which ranks the second in significance after the aforementioned bridge, lies over the river Artinajur, at the southern edge of Banants. It represents a single-span structure of a semi-circular vault, with its span 10.70 metres long, and its passage 4.90 metres wide. The capstone of its northern facade bears a relief of a horse head which, apparently, stands for a family emblem. The bridge was repaired in the 19th century by a certain Shami Saki.
   A white marble stone (60 x 40 centimetres), placed at the top of an arch in the centre of the upper, i.e. west-facing facade of the bridge, bears an inscription (5 lines in the Armenian original) commemorating the overhaul implemented in 1918:
   γ ᷻ | 񳵻 | ڳᵿ, ٳ | ߳ | ճ, 9.6.1918 .:
   
transl.: This bridge was repaired by Sargis Virabian Hakobiants in perpetual memory of his parents, 9 June 1918.
Published for the first time.

   The bridge of Nerki Hand (the Armenian equivalent for 'Lower Fields'), a stone monument lying over the river Artinajur, was built in 1870, parallel with the completion of the road of Banants-Gandzak._*128It was destroyed in the aftermath of an explosion during the construction of the railway of Gandzak-Karhat in 1945.
   Boloradzor, which dates from the 17th century, was built over the stream Bolorajur (Bolorants), at the southern edge of the village. It represented a single-span vaulted bridge of finely-cut cornerstones. Its only remnants comprise its piers built of undressed stone and mortar. Its span was originally 9.20 metres long, and its passage 2.50 metres wide (it was later enlarged into 4.50 metres).
   The bridge of Bagher (the Armenian equivalent for 'Gardens'), representing a single-span structure of undressed stone and mortar, was built over the river Artinajur, "at the beginning of the Kurdians' Gorge"_*129 in 1886.
   The bridge of Yekeghetsadzor (the Armenian equivalent for 'Church Gorge,' 'Kilisadara' in Turkish) represents a single-span vaulted structure built over the stream Yekeghetsajur, 5.5 kilometres south of Banants in the 18th century. In 1932 it was repaired by Hovhannes Gyurjian (Gurjunts Hovhan).
   Mazi (the Armenian equivalent for 'Hair') Bridge (its span was 10.15 metres long, and its passage 3 metres wide), which lay over the river Artinajur, was built of rough stone and mortar. It was destroyed in the late 19th century, its piers being still preserved on the elevated side of a nearby narrow gorge before the deportation of the population of Northern Artsakh in 1988.
   The school of Banants was adjoined by a bridge representing a single-span structure of undressed stone and mortar. It survived until 1960.
   Each of the small bridges built over the stream flowing through the centre of the village represents a structure of undressed stone and mortar, with a semi-circular vault and a span of 3 metres on average.
   Banants was also rich in mills which were located all along the gorge and functioned at the expense of the river Artinajur. Below follows a list of some of the people and families owning them: the Ter-Avetikiants (near a mulberry wood above Yants Bridge); Gabriel Gevorgian (above Metz Bridge); the Tzapoviants (near the same bridge, on the left bank of the river Artinajur); the Aniants (on the same bank of the river) as well as the Musunts and Maki Kikian (Mkrtich Grigorian), whose mills lay above Metz Bridge. The latter later gave his to his daughter Taguhi as part of her dowry (his son-in-law was Tevos Hovhannissian).
   The oldest church in Banants, Sourb Astvatzatzin is situated in the centre of the village, north of St. Grigor Lusavorich Church built later.
   According to Father Poghos Yepiskopossiants, in the late 19th century, the monument was in an inconsolable state: "...as a result of the deterioration of its wooden roof, the condition of the village's ancient church of Sourb Astvatzatzin is worsening day by day. Since its walls partly collapsed last month, people and even animals have been walking there freely, without any obstacles. ... The construction of the cells started in the year 1886 with the means of the sanctuary as well as through the local inhabitants' and Mr. Yagor Hovhannissiants' financial support. The latter had made that donation in memory of his brother, Mahtesy Avetik, as well as his sons Alexandre, Sexton Nerses and Hovsep... The building was erected in the site of an older church to meet the villagers' spiritual needs."_*130
   In 1981 some repairs were implemented in the church.
   Sourb Astvatzatzin represents a single-nave vaulted structure (exterior dimensions: 9.64 x 7.40 metres) built of undressed stone and mortar. Its only entrance, which opens from the western facade, bears signs of some changes carried out during its enlargement in the 19th century. The sanctuary, where light penetrates through 2 windows widening inside, has a wide bema, but is devoid of vestries. The abundence of khachkars and tombstones (22 in number according to our estimate), set both in the exterior and interior walls of the church, make it particularly remarkable. The former, amounting to 131, lie everywhere, from the cornices to the niches and windows.
   The stylistic and decorative peculiarities of these memorials, a considerable part of which is inscribed, trace them back to the 16th to 17th centuries.
   Below follow the inscriptions carved on the khachkars and tombstones found inside the church:

   5 lines in the Armenian original engraved on and below the cornice of a cross-stone standing in front of the bema:
    Ʒɻ ϳݷ| () س۳, () (1556):
   
transl.: I, Yaghub from Agulis, erected this cross in memory of Marian in the year 1556.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 258.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone lying on the northern side of the window opening from the western facade:

    ˳ , | ݤ 1556:
   
transl.: This Holy Cross is in memory of Davat, in the year 1556.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 260.
   Note: This source does not decipher the inscription thoroughly. The part below the cornice is engraved with a scene of the Crucifixion.

   2 lines in the Armenian original carved on another cross-stone lying on the southern side of the same window:

    ˥ ()ݳϳ |׳, ݤ 1569:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Bekichan, in the year 1569.
   Published for the first time.

   A cross-stone placed in front of the bema bears a 2-line inscription carved on its cornice and around some reliefs below the cornice:
   ¥ݤ Ⱥ 1586, ˳ ݳϳ :
   
transl.: In the year 1586, may this Holy Cross protect Jicha.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 257.
   Note: In this source the year is erroneously deciphered as '1556.' The name 'Jicha' may also be read as 'Jika.'


   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone set in the window opening from the bema:
    ˥ ()(ݳϳ) ϳ|:
   transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Voskan.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 260.
   Note: This source, which traces the inscription back to the 16th century, offers a different decipherment of its last part.

   2 lines carved on and below the cornice of a cross-stone standing north of the window of the bema, the inscription being interrupted by reliefs representing Jesus and the four Evangelists:

    ˳ ˳ ٳ|: | ()() (ݿ) () ݳų ():
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Ghesmat. Sculpted by God's worthless servant Hovhannes.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 258.
   Note: This source offers a different decipherment of the second line, in which a certain Poghos is mentioned instead of Hovhannes. The inscription dates from the 16th to 17th centuries.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on a cross-stone set above the window of the bema, on the ceiling:

   ݤ 1600:
 
 transl.: In the year 1600.
   Published for the first time.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone set below the window of the bema:

   () () ()() ()(), ݤ 1600:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Father Grigor, in the year 1600.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 259.

   At least 5 lines in the Armenian original incised into one of the sides of a cross-stone which stands in front of the bema, with its cornice hewn:
   ... | ...| |, | ̴ 1603:
   
transl.: ... soul, 1603.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 258.
   Note: This source erroneously divides the inscription (its beginning is weathered) in two parts, presenting them as incised into different khachkars.

   2 lines in the Armenian original engraved on one of the faces, cornice and both sides of the upper cross wing of a khachkar set in a niche in the north of the bema
:
   ݤ 1611, | ... å ۤ ...:
   
transl.: In the year 1611, ... for the salvation of G...'s soul.
   Published for the first time.
   
   2 lines, each engraved on the cornice and one of the sides of a cross-stone set in front of the bema:

    ˥ ˥ ۤ, | ݤ ξ 1618:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Yeghish' s soul, in the year 1618.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: This source omits the year of the inscription and deciphers 'Yeghish' as 'Yeugh.'

   2 lines in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone placed on the eastern side of a niche south of the bema:

   ݤ ж 1624, ˳ | ޳:
 
 transl.: In the year 1624, may this Holy Cross protect Shahsvar.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 260.

   Two lines, one carved on the cornice and the other on both sides of the upper cross wing of another khachkar set beside the aforementioned one:

    ˥ ()()() س ()(), | ݤ ж 1624:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Mahi's soul, in the year 1624.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 259.
   Note: The year of the inscription is not specified.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on a cross-stone set in the upper part of a niche in the south of the bema:

   ݤ ж 1624:
   
transl.: In the year 1624.
    The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 260.
   Note: The cornice of the khachkar, which was apparently inscribed, is buried in the wall.

   Two lines, one incised into the cornice and the other into both sides of the upper cross wing of a khachkar set south of the window of the bema:

    ˥ ˥ س ()() | ݤ и 1625:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Mord's soul, in the year 1625.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: This source deciphers 'Mord' as 'Mabd.'

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice and both sides of the upper cross wing of a khachkar set north of the window of the bema:

    ˥ 񥿤˥ ()() | ݤ | 1626:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Gyulum, in the year 1626.
   Published for the first time.

   Two lines, one engraved on the cornice and the other on both sides of the upper cross wing of a khachkar set below the window of the bema:

   () () () 복ݤ, ݤ к 1626:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Yeghisabet, in the year 1626.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 258.
   Note: According to this source, the inscription is dated 1628.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into a cross-stone lying in a niche south of the bema:

   ݤ к 1626:
 
 transl.: In the year 1626.
   Published for the first time.

   3 lines in the Armenian original carved on the cornice and the lower part of a cross-stone adjoining the window of the bema in the north:

    ˥ ˥ ()() | ݤ | 1629:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Arakel's soul, in the year 1629.
   Published for the first time.

   Engraved on both sides of the upper cross wing of a khachkar lying north of the window of the bema:

   ݤ Ҳ 1632:
 
 transl.: In the year 1632.
   Published for the first time.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone set above the window opening from the western facade:

    ˥ (񥿤() سû:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Mate.
   Published for the first time.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone placed south of the window of the bema:

   () () ()() ݳ ()():
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Shnavor.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 259.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   3 lines, one incised into the cornice and the other two into one of the sides of a khachkar set above the window of the bema:

   () () 񥿤() Գ ˳||:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect lady Gharip.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone lying on the western side of a niche south of the bema:

   () () ()() ɳ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Baklar.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 260.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone set in the southern wall:

   () () :
 
 transl.: This Holy Cross to Hrum.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 259.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   8 lines in the Armenian original engraved on a cross-stone placed on the southern side of the window opening from the western facade:

   () | ()| ()()|() | ()|(), | ()()|:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Baghtasar [and] Hurumsim.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone lying south of the window of the bema:

   () () ()() ޳:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Shaghoski.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   2 lines in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone lying on the eastern side of a niche north of the bema:

   () () () ³ | ()():
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Tajum's soul.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 260.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone standing north of the window of the bema:

    ˥ ˥:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone set south of the window of the bema:

    ˥ 񥿤˥ ѥݤ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Siran's soul. Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone adjoining the window of the bema in the south:

    ˥ :
 
 transl.: This Holy Cross to Sarek.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone adjoining the window of the bema in the north:

   | | ... | ...| | |DZ:
 
 transl.: ... Paresh (?).
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone set north of the window of the bema:

    ˥ 񥻤˥ س:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Marian.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone placed on the upper part of a niche in the north of the bema:

    ˥ ˳ ؿ뿥ݤ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Father Melikset.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 259.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone placed on the upper part of the southern side of the window of the bema:

    ˥ 񥻤˥ س:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Marian.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: This source offers a slightly different decipherment of the inscription, which dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone placed on the northern side of the window of the bema:

    ˥ 񥻤˥ س:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Matos.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into a cross-stone lying on the floor of a niche south of the bema:

    ˥ ˳:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on a cross-stone set in the facade of the bema:

    ˥ ۤ:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Ayon's soul.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on a tombstone lying in front of the bema:

    ˥ ꥳ:
 
 transl.: This Holy Cross to Sar.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   4 lines in the Armenian original incised into another tombstone lying in front of the bema:

    ˥| ()()() | |:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Poz.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   2 lines in the Armenian original inscribed on a fragment of a gravestone lying in the bema:

    ˥ | ()() ...:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect...
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   2 lines in the Armenian original carved around a cross relief on a vault-bearing arch:

   () |()():
   transl.: To sculptor Ovanes.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   3 lines in the Armenian original engraved around a cross relief on a vault-bearing arch:

   ݿ | :
   
transl.: To Ovanes Terun.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

 
 The western facade of the church is outwardly engraved with the following inscriptions:

   2 lines in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone placed at the top of the western pediment:

    ˥ ˥ гٳ, | ݤ 1621:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Haman, in the year 1621.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 261.

   2 lines in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone standing at the top of the western pediment:

    ˥ ... ݤ к 1626:
   
transl.: This Holy Cross ... in the year 1626.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ ³, ݤ ...:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Thoros, in the year...
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

   ...ϳ...:
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century. It is beyond decipherment and, therefore, impossible to translate.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ :
   
transl.: This Holy Cross to Par.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ 񤿥˳ :
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Tobchi.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ ó:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Yetar.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone. It comprises only the last two syllables of the name of the person it is dedicated to:

   ...:
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century. It is beyond decipherment and, therefore, impossible to translate.

 
 Below follow the inscriptions of the khachkars and gravestones set in the northern facade:

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ ѥᤷۤ, ݤ ̶ 1603:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Van's soul, in the year 1603.
   Published for the first time.

   2 lines in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ , | ݤ в 1622:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Amir, in the year 1622.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 261.
   Note: This source has deciphered only two letters of the name which is erroneously restored as 'Abraham.'

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ ʥݻ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Khanek.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: This source deciphers 'Khanek' as 'Khanbek.' The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ 񥿤˥ ѥᤷ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Yeghi's soul.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ 񥿤˥  :
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Father Akob.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 262.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

   ... ˥ ... :
   
transl.: ... this cross ...
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century. The Armenian original also contains the last two syllables of the name of the person it is dedicated to.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ Ƿ ѥᤷۤ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Grigor's soul.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˳ :
   
transl.: This Holy Cross to Barkhudar.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ []ѳ :
   transl.: This Holy Cross to Ohan.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ åݤ:
   
transl.: This Holy Cross to David.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ݳϳ :
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Usep.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ ...˳...:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect ... rikhan...
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 262.
   Note: This source has deciphered the name as 'Hurikhan,' but we do not find it trustworthy. The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   2 lines in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ ͳ|ݤ...:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Father Astvatzatur...
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The second line of the inscription is incised into one of the sides of the khachkar.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ ѳ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Arhan.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ 񥻤˥ ѳ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Ohan.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

   ... ݳDZ:
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century. It is unintelligible and, therefore, impossible to translate.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ :
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Gogji.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: This source erroneously deciphers the name as 'Gochi.' The inscription dates back to the 17th century.
   The eastern facade of the church is outwardly engraved with the following inscriptions:

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ... ݤ 1556:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross ... in the year 1556.
   Published for the first time.

   2 lines in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˳ ˥ ... ٥ | dz, ݤ 1556:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Av...tik's mother Ustian, in the year 1556.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 261.
   Note: This source, which has distorted the inscription (17th century) to a considerable extent, deciphers the last part as "to Mkrtich, Ustian" instead of "Av...tik's mother Ustian, in the year 1556."

   2 lines in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone standing at the top of the eastern pediment:

    , | ѳ:
   
transl.: May God have mercy upon Doost, Gohar.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 260.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 16th to 17th centuries.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on a tombstone:

   ݤ ж 1624 ...:
   
transl.: In the year 1624...
   Published for the first time.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into a tombstone:

   ݤ ж 1624:
   
transl.: In the year 1624.
   Published for the first time.

   2 lines in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ , åǤ, |:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Amir Agha, Tolvat [and his] sons.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 261.
   Note: The inscription dates from the 17th century. This source, which has considerably distorted it, deciphers it as "To Amir Tovlat."

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ 񥿤˥ ʥ, ٥:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Khechum and my mother.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into a tombstone:

    ˳ 񥿤˥ ... ѥᤷ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect ... soul.
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ :
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Khostrov.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ˥ ѥᤷۤ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Pash's soul.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   The southern facade of the church bears the following inscriptions:
   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ ϳ, ޳٥ݤ:
 
 transl.: This Holy Cross to Voskan, Shahum.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., part 5, p. 262.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ 䥳ѳ:
   
transl.: This Holy Cross to Pahalu.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ :
 
 transl.: This Holy Cross to Hurum.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˥ :
   
transl.: This Holy Cross to Gulpash.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˳ 񥿤˥ []ݳ:
 
 transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Hovnan.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˳ 񥿤˥ ݹ:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Khondgar.
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   A single line in the Armenian original carved on the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˳ ˥ , ݱ...:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Akob...
   The Armenian original published in: Corpus..., ibid.
   Note: This source deciphers the inscription (17th century) in the following way, "To Akob and Shahverdi."

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a cross-stone:

    ˳ ˥ ǵ dzݤ ...:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect monk (?)...
   Published for the first time.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.


   Estates. In the year 1845, "...Banants' Sourb Astvatzatzin Church has a house and a small mulberry wood in a quarter in Yelizavetpol."_*131
   The former had been donated in 1839 by the late Mrs. Hripsime Harutiuniants, an inhabitant of Gandzak from Banants in origin._*132
   Banants' new church of Grigor Lusavorich almost adjoined Sourb Astvatzatzin in the south: "In 1863 the pious believers of the village embarked upon the foundation of another sanctuary which was completed in 1866. A magnificent, large edifice (exterior dimensions: 27.9 x 13.3 metres), it is the pride and glory of the entire village."_*133
   Priests. Due to the populousness of Banants, beginning with at least the 17th century, two, three, sometimes even more priests served there simultaneously. This is also true of the 19th century: thus, in 1865 it had three, in 1886 two,_*134 and in 1893 three spiritual shepherds._*135
   The available sources have enabled us to make up the following chronological list of these clergymen:
   Father Grigor died in 1600._*136
   Priests Melikset,_*137 Akob and Astvatzatur served in the village in the 17th century._*138
   Mkrtich Barseghian (according to his epitaph, he died in 1716) and Grigor Nadiriants (he died in 1761, as attested by his epitaph) performed priestly duties in the 18th century.
   Priests Mkrtich (he died in 1791), Avag and David served Banants between the 18th and 19th centuries, this being confirmed by their epitaphs.
   Avetik Khachatrian Ter-Avetikiants, who was ordained in 1772 by Bishop Yeprem of Banants' Targmanchats Monastery, consigned his soul to God in 1822,_*139 although his epitaph mentions another year (1809).
   Israyel Petrossian Ter-Hovsepiants died in 1811, as attested by his epitaph.
   In 1816 prior of the aforementioned monastery Bishop Gabriel promoted Stepanos Avetikian Ter-Avetikiants (he died in 1861)_*140 to the fourth degree of religious service. His son, lawyer Michael (he was born in 1826 and lived in Gandzak),_*141 had three children: Michael, born in 1863, Stepan, born in 1866, and Levon, born in 1867._*142
   Father Grigor died in 1841, as attested by his epitaph.
   Petros Ter-Israyeliants, mentioned in 1843,_*143 was ordained in 1820 and died in 1849._*144
   Hovhannes Yepiskopossiants performed priestly duties in 1850. His family comprised his wife Anna as well as their children Poghos, Shoghakat and Mariam._*145
   Grigor Ter-Israyelian, mentioned in 1850 among the 4 sextons of Banants,_*146 was ordained in 1859_*147 and yielded up his spirit to God in 1864._*148
   Andreas Vardanian Ter-Michaeliants (he died in 1894),_*149 mentioned in 1850 among the 4 sextons of the village,_*150 was ordained on 5 February 1861. His sons were Michael, born in 1865, Levon, born in 1866, and Grigor, born in 1872_*151. He taught at the local parish school in 1875_*152 and blessed Banants' newly-erected school building in 1888._*153
   Poghos Ter-Hovhannissian Yepiskopossiants, born in 1840, was ordained on 9 March 1859. His family consisted of his wife Taguhi (she died in 1901)_*154 as well as his 5 sons: Aram, born in 1862 (he died in 1892); Hovhannes, born in 1866; Simon, born in 1872; Artashes, born in 1879, and Garegin, born in 1881._*155 A Patriarchal bull issued in 1888 approved his membership of the Board of Trustees of the local school._*156 In compliance with another bull (1890), he gave up his post of Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Getashen's one-year boys' school for Mesrop Ter-Grigoriants to occupy it._*157 Poghos Ter-Hovhannissian is also mentioned in 1908._*158
   Yervand (secular name: Stepanos) Mkrtchian Ter-Michaeliants, born in 1860, was a graduate of the Religious Seminary of Yerevan._*159 In 1892 Echmiatzin Synod granted him permission to be ordained priest in Banants Village,_*160 which was carried out on 11 October of the same year. In 1904, when Father Yervand still served the village, he had four children: Yeranuhi, born in 1898; Stepanos, born in 1900; Armik, born in 1903, and Yervandanuysh, born in 1905._*161
   In 1910 reference is made to Grigor Ter-Avetikiants._*162
   Ancient sites are of great importance to the study of the history of any settlement. With this regard, Banants' cemetery, which is unusually rich in epitaphs, is of immense significance not only to the investigation into the village's past but also from the standpoint of conducting research into the history of entire Northern Artsakh. To the great luck of Banants' inhabitants and all Armenians, in 1986 Martiros Chalumian, a local artist and builder, put down all the epitaphs found in this spacious graveyard with the utmost care and attention, thus carrying out gigantic work which, unfortunately, cannot be said about the other devastated Armenian villages of the region.
   The oldest dated monuments of the cemetery trace as far back as the 15th century. Martiros Chalumian found it expedient to present the epitaphs of the 19th century not chronologically but in the alphabetical order of family names. Following the same principle, we have included them in this work_*163 together with our decipherments of several other inscriptions of the 17th to 18th centuries.
   9 lines in the Armenian original engraved on the narrow side of a cross-stone:
   ...(ϳݷݻ) |˳ | ߳ | () | | |ݳ, | ݤ | Ƽ (1477):
   transl.: ...I erected this cross in memory of my elder son, Mr. Evitrina, in the year 1477.
   The Armenian original published in: Lalayan, Yer. Gandzak District, p. 308; Corpus..., part 5, p. 262.
   Note: According to the local inhabitants, this khachkar, standing on a high pedestal and known by the name of Tsits Kar (the Armenian equivalent for 'Prominent Stone') was broken to pieces by an enemy shell in 1918.

   7 lines in the Armenian original incised into a cradle-shaped gravestone (115 x 70 x 28 centimetres):

   () (1649), | | | () | ϳ()| ѳ | ܳ:
   
transl.: In the year 1649 I, Avetis, erected this cross in memory of my father Navasard.
   The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 3, p. 15.

   5 lines in the Armenian original carved on a tombstone (165 x 55 centimetres):

    | ٿ| ݿ | ... | (1659):
   
transl.: In this grave reposes Melik Ovanes... 1659.
   The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 2, p. 14.

   A single line in the Armenian original engraved on a tombstone (100 x 50 x 60 centimetres):

   () ƴ(1673):
   transl.: In the year 1673.
   The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 3, p. 15.

   A single line in the Armenian original incised into the cornice of a finely-decorated khachkar of rosy stone (94 x 51 x 11 centimetres):

    () ()() ճ...:
   
transl.: May this Holy Cross protect Agha...
   The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 1, p. 6.
   Note: The inscription dates back to the 17th century.

   5 lines in the Armenian original carved on a rectangular tombstone (150 x 50 centimetres):

    | ٿ |ݿ ճ| ٳ, | (1711):
 
 transl.: In this grave reposes Melik Ovanes' spouse Bekumagh, 1711.
   The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 2, p. 14.

   4 lines in the Armenian original incised into a tombstone (185 x 68 centimetres):

    ... | .... | ٿ ݿ|, о (1728):
   
transl.: In this grave reposes ... Mirz's son Melik Ovanes, 1728.
   The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 2, p. 14.

   3 lines in the Armenian original engraved on a slab-shaped tombstone (165 x 60 x 20 centimetres):

    | 빳 |, () Զ (1744):
   
transl.: In this grave reposes Usta Sargis, in the year 1744.
   The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 3, p. 15.
   Note: 'Usta' is a title used with reference to old men.


   5 lines in the Armenian original carved on a rectangular tombstone (165 x 55 x 25 centimetres):
    | | ճ | |, () (1751):
 
 transl.: In this grave reposes Sargis' spouse Yeghisabet, in the year 1751.
   The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 3, p. 15.
   Incised into a fragment of a gravestone:

   ĸ (1765):
   The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 2, p. 14.

    ADIKHANIANTS (DKHANONTS)
   3 lines in the Armenian original carved on a tombstone (180 x 40 x 58 centimetres):
    ѳ ѳǻ | ˳ݻ, . 1876: | ߿ ˳ ڳ :
 
  transl.: Ohan Shakian Adikhaniants, died in 1876. This tombstone was placed by Hakob Adikhants' sons.
The Armenian original published in: "Gardmank," 1996, No. 1, p. 6.

    AGHAJANIANTS
    2 lines in the Armenian original incised into a coffin-shaped tombstone of white marble (160 x 32 x 57 centimetres):
    س, ݪ | ճݻ, ݳ 1855 , . 1886 :
 
  transl.: In this grave reposes Sargis Aghajaniants wife Margaret. Born in the year 1855, she died in 1886.
    The Armenian original published in: Gardmank, 1996, No. 1, p. 6.



  NORTHERN ARTSAKHSamvel Karapetyan