||Pile Carpet (fragment)
Eastern Altai, Pazyryk Burial Mound 5
5th-4th centuries BC
L 183 cm, w 200 cm
The world's most ancient pile carpet was found in the largest of the Pazyryk burial mounds. Its decoration is rich and varied: the central field is occupied by 24 cross-shaped figures, each of which consists of 4 stylized lotus buds. This composition is framed by a border of griffins, followed by a border of 24 fallow deer. The widest border contains representations of work-horses and men.
The once bright reds, dark blues and greens of the carpet are now faded, but must originally have provided a glowing range of colours.