To trace the history of Persian carpets is to follow a path of cultural growth of one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known. The art of making carpets was developed in IRAN (Persia) about three thousand years ago.
Very old discoveries are rare: the oldest known carpet of the world is named the Pazyryk carpet. This carpet was manufactured in Persia around 1.600 years ago, most probably in the royal workshop. When it was found, it had been deeply frozen in a block of ice, which is why it is so well-preserved. The carpet can be seen at the Heritage Museum of St.Petersburg, Russia.
The most famous and perhaps the most splendid carpet in the world, the Ardabil carpet, can be seen at the Victoria Albert Museum in London. It measures 534x1152 cm and was probably manufactured in the city of Kashan in Persia. The carpet dates back to the year 1539. It took three years for five weavers to complete the carpet, which was ordered by Shah Tahmasp for the Sheikh Safi mosque.
Originally there were two carpets but one was sacrificed in order to repair the other. The remaining parts of the sacrificed carpet can be viewed at the Los Angeles County Museum, USA. The carpet is made of wool and silk, with an amazing knot density of 518.000 knots/m2.
IRAN - PERSIA
Persia is the ancient Persian name of Iran and was the official name until 1934.
Iran is one of the largest countries in the Middle East and stretches like a bridge between east and west. In ancient times, the Silk road passed through the country and its caravans brought not only merchandise but also thoughts and ideas were spread amongst the population.
During the first great Persian dynasty Achemanid 2500 years ago, the empire stretched from Ethiopia (Africa) to India. The Persian emperors back then, Darius and Xerxes ruled over 28 different countries.
The most important period for Persian carpets was during the Safavid period, especially during the rule of Shah Abbas the great, who reigned 1587-1629. He was a great admirer of Art. So during his reign architecture, carpets, paintings and handicraft products were importantly developed. Isfahan became the most magnificent capital of the world.