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The Origins of Persian Rugs

Persian rugs origins have been around for a long time, nearly 2500 years. The oldest surviving carpet in the world is from the 5th century BC and is called the Pazyryk Carpet (above). Found in the grave of a Scythian prince from the Achaemenid period,  this carpet is a phenomenal example of Persian rugs, and it is especially interesting that it has withstood time so well since silk and wool  decay eventually.

The Achaemenid period was a time of magnificent carpet weaving. Cyrus the Great was the ruler of the court and Persia was allianced with Alexander the Great. The empire was the largest of Ancient times and is noted in history for being the foe of the Greeks; for freeing the Jews from slavery in Babylon; for having official languages throughout their territories; and for having magnificent hand knotted rugs.

The empire fell, but the making of hand knotted rugs never stopped. In the 6th century, the Persian carpets were globally famed for being the best. A carpet in the imperial hall of Khorsow I was 450 feet long and 90 feet wide. It depicted a formal garden. A hundred years later, the Sasanian capital Tuspawn (modern Iraq) fell and the Arab invaders cut the rug into fragmented rugs for booty.

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