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Abercromby, John / A trip through the eastern Caucasus

A trip through the eastern Caucasus: chapter I: from Tiflis to Nukha,   pp. [1]-29

Page 23

simple hood moulding, which, like the modest cornice 
along the top of the outside walls, is very much 
weather-worn and obliterated. In spite of this look 
of age, if I understood my informant right, the struc- 
ture is only of the sixteenth century.     Whatever 
ornamentati.on the church once possessed is now so 
injured either by weather or by coats of plaster that 
it is difficult to find a characteristic morsel anywhere. 
The inside seemed to offer nothing remarkable. As 
in other Armenian churches, there is no iconastasis, 
though pictures were attached to the walls. Outside 
the church were a, number of tombstones. For the 
most part they were flat, unhewn, uninscribed slabs 
of slaty stone, lying lengthwise on the ground. None 
were set upright. 
After visiting the church and seeing the traces of 
al older wall, which cuts across the churchyard, we 
were invited by the Armenians first to take a glass 
of tea, and subsequently to dine with them. Two 
long table-cloths were spread under the porch, and 
laid with plates and dishes of cold meat. Every one, 
save myself, sat cross-legged on cushions placed round 
the table-cloths; the men and boys round one, the 
women and girls round the other cloth. On my left 
I had the old monk of one hundred and twenty years 
who had come to see us. He was a comparatively hale-, 
looking old mail, but too deaf to take any part in the 
conversation, though Father Vitali, who sat on his other 
side, and kept the party in fits of laughter with his loud 
sallies, occasionally roared a joke or an observation into 
his callous ear. He said he had lived for more than 

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