Pazyryk Carpet… The oldest known carpet

The oldest surviving carpet is the “Pazyryk Carpet”, which is over 2,500 years old dating back to 500 B.C.
It was found in the 1940s in a Scythian tomb in southern Siberia.
The Pazyryk Carpet is 5’11” X 6’6″ approx 180 cm x 198 cm. It has a velvety woolen pile, finely knotted with an average of between 200 to 270 symmetrical knots to the square inch. The rug was constructed using the traditional Turkish knotting system, which strongly implies that the nomadic Turkish tribes who occupied central Asia two millennia ago, share an unbroken tradition of rug making with that of more modern traditions.


Pazyryk Carpet
The rug had been preserved in the permafrost since the 5th century BC. Soon after the rug had been placed in the burial mound of a Sythian chieftain, grave robbers raided the tomb. Fortunately the robbers ignored the rug, and in their pursuit actually helped to protect the rug from decay .
The rugs’ central field is a deep madder red colour and it has five borders. The primary, or widest, border contains horsemen. Each horse has an embroidered saddlecloth of which the design resembles the actual Pazaryk rug. The secondary inner border contains rows of deer.
The central field depicts repeating quatrefoils, which can be found in the stonework at the entrances to some Assyrian Palaces.
It is now kept in the Hermitage Museum of Leningrad.



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