The Pazyryk Rug

The Pazyryk Rug is considered to be one of the oldest in the world. It is fairly big and measures 183 x 200 cms. The knot density is close to 360,000 knots per square meter. The carpets we use these days usually have a much lower density compared to this. It is believed that this carpet was created as early as the 5th Century BC, which would make it over 2500 years old. The well-known technique known as carbon dating was used to determine the age of the rug. The rug is an amazing piece of work with good weaving techniques and a highly advanced design and construction. This would suggest that art of creating rugs is likely to be over 3000 years old. In fact, it is well known that Persian rug making is a very old technique.

 This rug was found in Altai Mountains of Siberia in 1949 during an Archaeological dig conducted then. There are many ancient artefacts and an entire ancient civilization discovered however, the Pazyryk rug was considered to the most significant find at the time. This has been placed at St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum and is considered to be the oldest rug around.


Pazyryk History

The rug was found in a semi frozen state near a burial tomb. These tombs are made from wood and boulders constructed well enough to sustain rough weather. The way the story goes is that Scythians began migrating from central Asia to western Mongolia, Russia and Europe during the late 9th century BC. They also travelled as far as Egypt and the Mediterranean. The Scythians were an ethnically diverse group and belonged to the Mongol race. They were also known to be good horsemen and archers. There were excellent warriors and even the women knew how to fight. There is reference to the women as “Amazon Warriors” amongst the Greeks.

There is very little written about them that was found, however what little does exist was written by ancient Greek historians, who describe their lifestyle and clothes in some detail.

It was a Russian archeologist, Sergei Rudenko who discovered the burial tomb that belonged to the Scythian people. This tomb was believed to be over 2500 years old. The Scythian people build tombs for their warriors and royal people in vast open space. There are over thousand tombs here, which is believed to be a gateway to afterlife. The tombs build here were in a space as big as a football field. It was designed deep down into the earth where buildings were erected from wood. There were layers of rocks that sealed the tombs. Above these rocks was layer of ice and the entire place was completely frozen. The fact that it was frozen is likely to be the main reason why the Pazyryk has been preserved for so long.

The Pazyryk Rug was found in a good condition and is still preserved well in the popular Hermitage Museum in Russia.