Bare facts about the Pazyryk carpet (the World-Oldest Rag). 

1. The Pazyryk carpet is the earliest known rag that has survived to this day.

2. The carpet was woven in 400 or 300 B.C., i.e. it is 2000 years older than other surviving pile rags.

3. The carpet is in a fine state of preservation. It looks as if it was made not so long ago.

4. The carpet is so well preserved thank for the thin layer of ice where it was found.

5. Since the Siberian summer is short and hot while the winter is especially long an ice lens formed around the rag. Water leaked into the Pazyryk burial and froze around the artifact. The ice that formed did not thaw during short summers, and permafrost preserved the carpet.

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The Pazyryk carpet 

6. This carpet found in 1947 was named after the Pazyryk burial site that was excavated in Siberia in the 20th century (the first excavation works started in 1929).

7. Cross-shaped figures can be seen in the carpet center.

8. The Pazyryk carpet has five border bands depicting people and animals, including mythological ones.

9. The first and fifth bands represent griffins (mythological creatures).

10. The second inner band depicts grazing fallow deer.

11. The third band is made of rosaces.

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The Pazyryk carpet. The fragment with fallow deer

12. The forth band is the most interesting as it shows horsemen in the saddle and dismounted warriors.

13. Horsemen and fallow deer are going in the opposite directions.

14. The carpet was most likely brought to Siberia as a gift for a chief whose tomb was found in the Pazyryk burial mounds.

15. The exact production place is still unknown, but there are many credible and unbelievable hypotheses.

16. The carpet is a 183 x 200 cm rectangular.

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The Pazyryk carpet. The fragment with horsemen

17. There are 360,000 knots per square meter (3,600 per square decimeter), i.e. these numbers surpass the ones of modern rags.

18. 1,250,000 knots were tied in order to produce the Pazyryk carpet!

19. These double knots have a symmetrical structure and are usually called the Turkish knots.

20. The carpet pile is only 2 mm thick. Its sophisticated design proves that the carpet manufacturer had great technical skills and an artistic vision (just compare this rug with modern ones!).

The carpet is held in the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.

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