The Armenian swastika is one of the Armenian symbols of eternity and rebirth. The traditional swastika was the embodiment of light (in the broadest theological sense), hence its name Arevakhach (translated from Armenian – “solar cross”). Besides, during the sun worship period in Armenia, this sign was a symbol of the sun.
The word “swastika” is a composite of two Sanskrit roots: सु, su (good, blessing), and अस्ति, asti (life, existence). Thus, the word itself means “well-being” or “prosperity”. Another Armenian name of the swastika is “vardan” (from the proto-Armenian “rotating”).
A famous image of the Armenian swastika is located on the main gates of the medieval capital of Armenia, the Lion Gates of Ani.
The prime meaning of Arevakhach is the divine light and sun and the movement of life, prosperity, glory, eternity, and luck they bring. In ancient Armenia, Arevakhach was portrayed on weapons, appliances, carpets, clothes, clan banners and crests, and was also used in the design of churches (the pagan Arevakhach, like many other Armenian traditions and symbols, “merged” into Christianity) and houses.
In the Armenian folk epic “Sasuntsi Davit” (David of Sassoun), the sign received another name, “Khach Paterazmin”, the “military cross” or the “cross of war”. There, it was a symbol of the struggle of Armenians with the invaders. Now, Arevakhach can be frequently seen on stone monuments of the Armenian Highlands.
A research has demonstrated that the letters of the Armenian alphabet could be modified images of Arevakhach.
“Ker khach”, that is, a crooked cross, personifies the eternal rotation of the Earth, the Sun, and the cosmos. The origin of this symbol is associated with Aryan signs.
The clockwise rotation of the curved cross symbolizes life-death-life, that is, infinity, as well as rotation. Counter-clockwise rotation symbolizes death-life-death.
The earliest images of the swastika in Armenia date back at the Neolithic (approximately 7000-5000 BC).