East Facade
Zone B - Figure 5

A head-and-shoulders-length depiction of a male figure, set within a circular medallion. Four Armenian letters are carved within the roundel. They spell "Adam". There is an untidy-looking ten-line inscription squeezed in between the left edge of the roundel and the lion's head of figure B4. It contains the Biblical text "And Adam gave names to all the animals and wild beasts" (Genesis 2.20).

Physical characteristics
His head is not haloed. He has a full beard and long hair that extends down to over his shoulders. He has a rather gentle expression on his face and his eyes are raised slightly. His right hand is raised and his index finger is pointing upward.

Adam (DAA, Nersessian). An ancestor of the Artzruni dynasty (Mnatsakanian)

Nersessian states that "the facial type of the father of mankind has intentionally been modelled on that of Christ". She says that the location of Adam here explains the presence of the numerous animals carved in high or low relief on the church, and that this allusion to the Garden of Eden may be there to convey that the Christian Church is an image of Paradise. Thus, much of the carving is a variation on the traditional rendering of the image of a paradise garden frequently depicted in the mosaic floors of early Christian churches.

Based on the assumption that the name "Adam" and the accompanying biblical inscription were carved later, Mnatsakanian suggests that the figure depicted is not actually Adam, but is a portrait of the forefather of the Artzruni clan. The carving at a later date of the Biblical inscription "And Adam gave names to all the animals and wild beasts" may been attempt by later clerics to explain the existence of the row of protruding animal figures by identifying them as the animals thought to belong to the garden of Eden.