The narrative scenes of the “Three Adolescents in the Fiery Furnace” and “Daniel in the Den of Lions” are respectively depicted on the four faces and the base of the stela. In the center of the main, west face of the base is the figure of Daniel in praying attitude (orant), standing upright, with his hands raised. Two lions with huge profiles and open jaws are licking the prophet’s garments. Their bodies are depicted on the entire surface of the adjoining faces. The side opposite the one with the figure of Daniel shows a relief of a cross. Daniel wears a long tunic with an ornamented hem and sleeves, a wide girdle, a mantle and a headdress. In some respect, this iconographic type proceeds the theme of the Crucifixion and has an old Oriental tradition, going back to the depths of centuries. In many medieval Armenian memorials (Aghts, Harich, Paros, Avan, Agarak, Odzun and Aghtamar), the theme of Daniel was applied with different iconographic solutions. In the traditional interpretation of the early Middle Ages, the subject-matter was linked with the biblical concept of Salvation. In this sense, the base by itself becomes a narrative ground for the scene of the “Three Adolescents in the Fiery Furnace” presented on the stela. The main, west face of the shaft of the stela shows Jesus standing, with a halo. He is holding a Gospel in His left hand, while His right hand is shown in a blessing gesture. There is a sculptural figure carved under the feet of Jesus; due to damage it is difficult to guess who is depicted on the carving. On the north face two human figures are presented standing one over the other. The lower one is comparatively smaller, almost in the same attitude and clothing as Daniel is. According to Archbishop Garegin Hovsepian, the upper figure presents one of the three adolescents, wearing a semi-spherical headdress, his right hand on his chest, and his two fingers folded in blessing. He is arrayed similarly as Daniel. The south face shows the Virgin enthroned with Jesus in her lap. Jesus is bearded, presented in frontal view, nimbed, the Holy Scriptures in his left hand, and his right hand raised. The Virgin’s head is covered with a veil, reaching the shoulders; she is clad in draped attire. She embraces the infant with her left hand, and her right is raised. Above the sculptural relief are horizontal flutes, which decorate the entire surface of the east face of the stela as well.
Collection : Archaeological collection
Exposition : Armenia in the 4th – 9th cc.
Period : Middle Ages
Era : 5th-6th centuries
Location : Shirak
Place : Harichavank
Material : Stone
Inventar # : 1576a,b