A Bit About the Pazyryk Rug

Keeping with our theme of the Handwoven Celebrations Weaving Challenge, a new home is a great reason to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate a new home than with a handwoven rug. Rugs have been around for millenia, with the oldest surviving rug estimated as being around 2,500 years old. The ancient rug managed to survive so long because water let in by tomb robbers froze around the it. Because the rug was located in a cave in Siberia, the temperature was always quite cold and the rug never defrosted until it was discovered by archaeologists in the 1940s. Known as the Pazyryk rug was created using what we now think of as Turkish knotting, and it is covered in elaborate designs including winged griffins, antlered deer, and men on horseback. The sophisticated construction and design work show that people in ancient cultures had the skill and knowledge to create complex textiles. Today the rug is housed at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and you can see an image of it here. There are also many companies that make reproductions of the Pazyryk rug as it probably looked in the year 500 BC.

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