Armenia: The Lone Stone exudes the excitement of the book’s photographer

Armenia: The Lone Stone
By David Karamian
Hardcover with dust jacket, 11.5 inches x 11.5 inches, 6 lbs.
Text in English and Armenian

David Karamian was a teenager in the Diaspora with dreams of the distant homeland. 

With each passing day, he found his dreams of Armenia were nurtured, but not quenched. He lived in an Armenian neighborhood. He attended an Armenian school, and he listened to Armenian programs on the radio. 

All this made him more eager to set foot in Armenia—a country he loved, but had never visited.

When Karamian finally made his first visit to Armenia in 2005, he marveled at the beauty. He photographed the countryside, the mountains and the canyons—all of them covered with stones.

He returned to Armenia again and published a collection of his photographs this year.

Armenia: The Lone Stone is a massive tome that speaks to Karamian’s relationship with his homeland. And while his journey to Armenia may have validated his dream, it is the publication of his book that formed it into something he could share with the masses.

Karamian’s images portray Armenian culture with scenes from the Matenadaran and other museums and highlight Armenia’s natural beauty with imagery of the country’s mountains and canyons.

His photography shows us, with excitement, the khachkars (stone crosses) that are in abundance throughout Armenia, and also the rocks without crosses, such as the celestial stones at Karahunj.

He also documents the majesty of Dadivank and Ghazanchetsots, two at-risk Armenian sites in Artsakh, as well as Gandzasar.

Throughout more than 350 pages, Armenia: The Lone Stone exudes the passion of Karamian as he toured the homeland, camera in hand. The integration of photography from Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia appears to express the unity of the Armenians. The diversity of topics—museums, statuary, manuscripts, churches—screams with the excitement of a photographer who is celebrating Armenia. 

The photographs in Armenia: The Lone Stone are a mixture of black and white and color. They are almost exclusively images of stones or things that are made of stone. There are no photographs of people in this book except for portraits of the photographer and his family.

The absence of portraiture is this photographer’s vision. He tells the story of an Armenia that is made of stones. He tells the story of a nation that gathered those stones and created something greater: a Lone Stone.

Matthew Karanian
Matthew Karanian practices law in Pasadena, Calif. He is the author of ‘The Armenian Highland: Western Armenia and the First Armenian Republic of 1918’ (Stone Garden Press, 2019). For more information, visit


  1. It is with great pleasure that I read Mr Matthew Karanian’s article about Mr David Karamian’s Armenia – The Lone Stone. The article says everything about the book, Armenia and specially David’s immense love for Armenia.

    Fantastic review!

  2. Kara-Mian, what a creative play on David Karamian’s family name that fits the title of his book “Armenia-The Lone Stone”. Kara-Mian, its only stone.

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