The History of Area Rugs

Area rugs of various kinds have been with us since the dawn of human civilization. From the first reed and animal skin rugs used by Paleolithic men, to modern machine-loomed wool area rugs decorating multi-million dollar homes, area rugs have been prized possessions of many a household.

animal skin area rug

Animal Skin Area Rug

Pazyryk Rug

The oldest surviving complete rug was discovered by Russian Archeologist Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko in an exploration in 1949. Made of hand-woven wool, the Pazyryk area rug’s exquisite design, texture and its rich colors were remarkably well-preserved in the frozen Siberian burial site where it had laid hidden under the earth since the 5th century B.C. This wool area rug is an exceptional example of Saka art, featuring a hand-knotting technique still used in modern times.

Pazyryk Rug

 

Another famous area rug from the ancient times is the legendary “Spring of Khosrau,” supposedly an enormous and richly decorated hand-knotted area rug belonging to the King of Persia. Made about 550 BC, this area rug was made of wool, silk, gold, silver and gemstones. It had beautiful springtime sceneries woven into its texture, and its “flowers in bloom”, birds, green meadows and other carpet art are wonders of Persian ingenuity. It was supposedly 400,000 square yards. In reality this was most likely a refference to the entire royal collection of area rugs.

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