The earliest appearance of the loom in history was about 3000 B.C. when it was already known and widely used in Egypt. Its root, therefore, are lost in antiquity.
Obviously, none of the Oriental carpets from a date as early as the ancient pharaohs exists today. The oldest knows rugs, in face, were discovered in 1949 by the Russian archeologists Rudenko and Grjansov in the Siberian valley of Pazyrck high in the Altari mountains. They found the toumb of some Scythian chiefs. The frozen graves were around 2,500 years old. Two carpets were among the items in the grave, and they are now in Lenin grad museum. One carpet is about 4×6 meters (abut 13×20 feet) and made of felt. The other is knotted and about 1.5×1.8 meters (about 5×6 feet).
Other than a few very rare exceptions, like these frozen carpets, there are no carpets in the existence from before 1300 A.D. There are some fragments of carpets in museums daring from the period 1300 to 1500. Starting around 1500, we begin to find existing carpets. The average person, however, would be fortunate to run across anything from as early as 1800.
Since villages and tribes, in the centuries past, were isolated with little communication, compare to today, it is expected that patterns varied greatly from one area to another. Tribes, towns and areas could be easily and clearly identified by their distinctive colors and motifs.
As time moved to the present, some major changes occurred. Synthetic dyes were introduced in the mid of 1800’s and, in recent times, machine instead of hand-made carpets have shown dramatic increase. The advent of machine-made carpets, along with the higher standard of living brought on by the oil industry, has resulted in dramatic change in the production of hand-made carpets.
Even today, however, in countless village throughout the East, families continue to make carpets just as their forefathers did in centuries gone past.