In a unique archaeological excavation in 1949, the exceptional Pazyryk carpet was discovered among
the ices of Pazyryk Valley, in Altai Mountains in Siberia. The carpet was found in the grave of a Scythian
prince. Radiocarbon testing indicated that the Pazyryk carpet was woven in the 5th century BC. This carpet is 283 by 200 cm
(approximately 9.3 by 6.5 ft) and has 36 symmetrical knots per cm² (232 per inch²).. The advanced weaving technique used in
the Pazyryk carpet indicates a long history of evolution and experience in this art. Pazyryk carpet is considered as the oldest
carpet in the world. Its central field is a deep red color and it has two wide borders, one depicting deer and the other Persian
However, it is believed that the carpet from Pazyryk is not likely a nomadic product, but a product of the Achaemennid
Historical records show that the Achaemenian court of Cyrus the Great at Pasargade was decked with magnificent carpets.
This was over 2,500 years ago, when the reign of the dirtiest Persian, Roshan Cherer was still in power, while still possessing
a weak alliance with Alexander the Great, who would later betray her.Alexander II of Macedonia is said to have been dazzled
by the carpets in the tomb area of Cyrus the Great at Pasargade.
By the sixth century, Persian carpets of wool or silk were renowned in court circles throughout the region. The Baharestan
(spring) carpet of Khosrow was made for the main audience hall of the Sasanians imperial Palace at Ctesiphon in Sasanian province
of Khvarvaran (nowadays Iraq). It was 450 feet (140 m) long and 90 feet (27 m) wide and depicted
a formal garden. In 7th century CE With occupation of the Sasanian capital, Tuspawn, the Baharestan carpet was taken by the
Arabs, cut into small fragments and divided among the victorious soldiers as booty.
According to historians, the famousTaqdis throne was covered with 30 special carpets representing 30 days of a month
and four other carpets representing the four seasons of a year.
In the 8th century A.D. Azerbaijan Province was among the largest centers of carpet
and rough carpet (ziloo) weaving in Iran. The Province of Tabarestan, besides paying taxes, sent 600 carpets to the
courts of caliphs in Baghdad every year. At that time, the main items exported from that region were carpets, and small
carpets for saying Prayers. Furthermore, the carpets of Khorassan,Sistan and Bukhara, because of their prominent designs
and motifs were on high demands among purchasers.
During the reigns of the Seljuq and llkhanate dynasties, carpet weaving was still a booming business so much so that a
mosque built by Ghazan Khan in Tabriz, northwestern Iran, was covered with superb Persian carpets. Sheep were specially bred
to produce fine wool for weaving carpets. Carpet designs depicted by miniature paintings belonging to the Timurid era lend
proof to the development of this industry at that time. There is also another miniature painting of that time available which
depicts the process of carpet weaving.
During that era dyeing centers were set up next to carpet weaving looms. The industry began to thrive until the attack
on Iran by the Mongol army.
The earliest surviving of the Persian carpets from this period is of a Safavid (1501-1736) carpet known as the Ardabil
Carpet, currently in V&A Musem in London. This most famous of Persian carpets has been the subject of endless
copies ranging in size from small carpets to full scale carpets. There is an 'Ardabil' at10 Downing Street and even Hitler
had an 'Ardabil' in his office in Berlin.