Sunday 8 October 2023

The 2,500 year old Pazyryk carpet

I have been buying wonderful carpets and recently turned up two antique ones in the loft that I had forgotten about. I therefore was delighted to learn of the oldest carpet in the world, the Pazyryk carpet, which dates from 500 years before Christ. It was found in the grave of a Scythian nobleman in the Altai Mountains in Kazakhstan in 1949. The carpet was frozen in ice and very well preserved. It may have been made by an Armenian, a Persian or a Turk (in that period living far to the east of what is now Turkey).

It is in the Hermitage in St Petersburg. I wonder if the Kazakhs would like it back.

1 comment:

  1. Initially I wrote this:

    "There is a Ermitage branch in Amsterdam. I recommend it, it contains exhibits that are rare in Western Europe: Artefacts from Central Asia, Fergana valley, Sogdiana, from Northern Mongolia, Oriental carpets, and Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist artefacts."

    Then I got curious how this Russia-West cultural exchange fares in the "special operation" era and checked on google. Apparently, the Ermitage branch does not exist any more in Amsterdam and has been replaced by a privately owned museum, called the H'Art Museum ( Inter arma silent musae.