Pazyryk Rug: The World’s Oldest rug

by Rugsblog

Pazyrik rug is the oldest rug in the world. Its motifs have remained untouched and almost intact over time. Of course, many different rugs have been discovered in the civilizations of Sumer, Babylon, and Mesopotamia, which are older than Pazyrik. Still, this one is the oldest rug whose motifs are well preserved and have suffered minor damage.

Here we have provided an introduction to the Pazyrik rug. Read and enjoy!

The History of Pazyryk Rug

Pazyrik is the oldest rug in the world and dates back to the 5th century B.C. It was discovered in 1949 by Rudenko in the grave of a Scythian nobleman in the Bolshoy Ulagan dry valley of the Altai Mountains in Kazakhstan on the border of Mongolia and between the Altai mountains.

Studies conducted on the Pazyrik rug show that it dates back to 2500 years ago and was used to cover horses. According to Rudenko, a Russian scientist, this rug has many similarities with the designs of the Achaemenid era, leading experts to attribute it to the Achaemenid period and the 5th and 4th centuries B.C.


The origin of the Pazyryk Rug

No one knows where the Pazyryk rug came from. Its history is a matter of conjecture. Although many experts attribute it to the Oghuz Turks, Volkmar Gantzhorn instead places its roots in the ancient civilizations of Urartu and Armenia.

According to a Persian theory, the rug may have historical ties to the Iranian and Altaian passageways. The rug is traditionally associated with the Sakic people, and some scholars have speculated that Armenians from the region may have supplied the wool, the aesthetic concept, and the workmanship.

Despite the fact that research conducted in 1983–1985 found no evidence of Armenian cochineal involvement, a conference hosted by the Soviet Union in Riga (1987) continued to assert that the rug’s red threads are identical to those of the Armenian cochineal kind.

In 1991, American Bard Graduate Center discovered that the bluish-red color used for the rug and other felts was made from Polish cochineal, a scale insect native to Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Western Siberia, or from one of the Porphyrophora species that was recently discovered in Kazakhstan.

But Armenian writers continue to support the Soviet-based view of 1987. Harald Böhmer’s examination of Porphyrophora hameli insects conducted in 1990 provided additional evidence regarding the nature of Ararat Kermes of the Armenian cochineal, concluding that the Pazyryk rug could not have been dyed with this bug.

The Features of the Pazyryk Rug

  • Pazyryk rug is almost square in shape with dimensions of 6.5 x 6.2 feet.
  • The knots used in the Pazyryk rug are symmetrical.
  • Its row count has approximately 3600 knots per 1.1 square foot.
  • The high-quality wool is used for weaving the Pazyryk rug.
  • The motifs used in this rug are very diverse and wide.
  • The color of the mold used in this handmade rug is red.
  • The design and texture of this rug are very advanced and complete, and it is a unique art.

Why has Pazyrik Rug survived the plague of time?

According to Rudenko, during the discovery of the tombs in the Pazyryk valley, due to the large volume of ice, they had to use high-pressure hot water to break the ice and access the graves. Ice and cold have prevented the carpet from rotting.

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