The Pazyryk Rug: Oldest Rug Ever

How often is it that you walk on a rug? And when you do, do you take the time to notice it? Do you ever take into consideration how much effort might have gone into making this one particular rug and what the story behind it is? One rug that may catch your attention and captivate your imagination is The Pazyryk Rug. This rug is said to be one of the oldest and most ancient rugs discovered today; dating back nearly 2600 years ago.

A History Interwoven

The Pazyryk rugs history is interwoven with the Scythian’s who in the 9th Century BC expanded out from central Asia into western Mongolia, Southern Russia, Europe, the Mediterranean and Egypt as well. The Scythian’s were said to be an ethnically diverse group connected through Iranian language and part of the Mongol race. They domesticated horses and became great horsemen and archers, which enabled them to travel and expand more easily than other tribes. Their ability to ride horses also gave them a huge advantage when it came to war and they were said to be fearless. Even their women were warriors and referred to by the Greeks as Amazons.

Signs From Above

The Pazyryk Rug was founded in 1949 by Russian archaeologist Sergei Rudenko on the steppes of Mongolia in a Scythian Prince’s tomb. Due to looters opening the tomb it’s remnants are said to have been frozen for over 2600 years, thus preserving what was left of this ancient artifact. The significance of this particular rug is that it gives us a glimpse into what carpentry and textiles might have meant to our ancestors and what purpose they stood for. The symbols within the ancient carpet indicate that the Scythian had a connection with the metaphysical, celestial, and animal kingdoms. On the carpet you can find pairs of lotus blossoms surrounding a solar symbol that are thought to represent their connection with the sun. Winged Griffins (animals that are part eagle part lion) can be found on the boarder of the rug and are said to represent guardians to the path of salvation. On another boarder is a depiction of horses and their riders traveling in the opposite direction of a herd of deer which is suppose to represent power, nobility and valor.

Permanent Markings

The markings and weaving of The Pazyryk rug indicates the Scythian belief in an afterlife as well as their way of life when they were presently living. It is through these ancient rugs and their woven stories that we can look back into the history of our ancestors and realize just how important they were and still are today. They contain the stories of the history, culture and beliefs of our worlds previous beginning. Perhaps the next time you see a rug you stop to think, “Hmm…I wonder what’s the story behind this carpet.” Who knows may be you’ll find a magic one.


The Pazyryk Rug Oldest Rug Ever (BP)