Ancient Turk Tribes Made Worlds Oldest Carpet

Story ByLee Bullen,Sub EditorJoseph Golder,AgencyCentral European News

A historian has said that this 2,500-year-old carpet removed from a grave at the foot of the Altai Mountains was made by ancient Turkish tribes.

Ibrahim Tellioglu, a historian at the Ondokuz Mayis University in the district of Atakum in the northern Turkish province of Samsun, said that the designs, figures and motifs used on the Pazyryk Rug are related to Turkish culture.

Believed to be the world’s oldest carpet, the decorative rug was removed from a grave at the foot of the Altai Mountains – where Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan come together – in 1949, according to local media.

The Pazyryk Rug is exhibited at the Hermitage Museum in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg and was discovered by archaeologist Sergei Rudenko in a tomb in a Siberian valley in the Altai Mountains known as the Pazyryk burials, home to a number of Scythian Iron Age tombs.

Although historians do not agree where carpet weaving began, it is believed by many to have originated in Asia with what is now modern-day Turkey still a carpet making centre regarded as a perfect location for rug weaving.

It had the land available for herding sheep, and was also suitable because of the local climate where the rugs were used as floor coverings, blankets, tablecloths and decorations. The historians claim would strengthen the belief that Turkey was making and exporting its carpets around the world even in ancient times.

Tellioglu said that the “motifs such as animal figures, cavalry images and the way the horse’s tail is tied” show the carpet “belongs to Turkey in terms of historical art”.

The historian said that these designs have been used in Turkish culture for millennia and there is no doubt who made the ancient carpet.

He added that a “mummified corpse with a golden dress” was found 2,500 years ago in the same site as the carpet, and that the makers of the garment were from Turkey based on the surrounding artefacts and an inscription on a silver bowl.

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