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The origin of the knotted Carpet:

Nomadic rugs and royal carpet under the Acheamenids

Until the discovery of the Pazyrick in 1949 by Russian archaeologist Rudenko, the origin of the knotted carpet was attributed to the royal Persian manufacture of the 16th century . van Gennep, in his “Ethnographic Notes” that precedes “The Carpet : A Fundamental Art” by Albert Achdjian , published in 1949 , write on page 9 : “Until now , the most ancient specimen , admirable in every way, is the Ardebil carpet, dating from 1539 and kept at the Victoria Albert Museum in London “. In an excellent state of preservation, this carpet dates back to around the 6th century BC and is named Pazyrick after the site in which it was discover ; in the Altai in the ice in funeral chamber of Scyth or Mongol nomads. It requires us to revise the classic hypothesis , for its texture is relatively fine, 30 o 36 knots per square centimeter. Its elaborate design is quite unique : the rectangular background composed of 24 squares, reminiscent of the Persepolis frescoes , is set centrally in a geometric chequerboard disposition without being overpowered by the five borders. The two main borders show a frieze of stags at pasture and a royal equestrian parade in which horses led by groom alternate with mounted horses.

These are separated by a median border with stylized geometric elements. On either side, the two exterior and interior borders bear small griffin designs . The central geometric elements and the five borders are framed by a thin rectilinear border composed of small mosaic squares alternately red, white, and brown on a cream background . Paradoxically , this bestows cohesion to the whole design and when seem from a distance the apparent depth remind us of the inlay work frequently used by Craftsmen of Isfahan .

Finally , the alternating and contrasting composition compensates for the limited range of color – rust, green, grey , black, cream, and gives presence to the details. This could not be tribal design ; it is probably a commissioned piece with a structured graphic composition , full of symbolism , realism, naturalism and majesty. The square shape of the carpet highlights its strongly evocation power, it is a masterpiece .

We can therefore infer that master weaver were already at work in ancient time and it would have been common for sovereigns to have carpet making workshops in order to furnish their palaces or to use as gift for official delegation paying their annual respect to the Great King in Persepolis.