Rugs have served as home décor essentials since the beginning of civilization. Crudely woven reed rugs and animal hide rugs provided the first flooring, sitting, and sleeping surfaces. For many families, the rug was the household's most valuable possession.
As the art of rug making evolved over the millennia, rugs transformed into artistic canvases. Today, the finest handmade rugs are treasured as prized objects d'art.
The oldest surviving area rug, the "Pazyryk" carpet, was discovered in 1949 by a Russian archeologist during the unearthing of a Siberian burial site. Long frozen in ice, the carpet's fiber, color, and designs were incredibly well preserved. Dating back to the 5th Century BC, the Pazyryk carpet is considered an exceptional work of Scythian art, featuring exquisite details, symmetrical patterns, rich colors, and a hand-knotted technique still popularly used today.
Before the discovery of the Pazyryk carpet, the oldest known rug was the King of Persia's legendary "Spring of Khosrows" carpet; an enormous hand-knotted area rug made of wool, silk, gold, silver, and precious stones. Dating back to about 550 BC, it measured 400' by 100', and weighed several tons. The King is said to have strolled along that seemingly endless, bejeweled carpet in the wintertime to savor its many springtime scenes - birds in flight, flowers in full blossom, ripe fruits, and a broad "green meadow" border believed to have been designed of solid emeralds.
rugs continue to play a significant role in the artistic traditions of cultures around the globe, from the geometrically complex Ayacucho designs of Peru, to the wildly contemporary sisal rugs of Brazil, to the intricate floral motifs of Indian Kashmiri rugs, to the world famous Persian rugs of Iran.
Interior designers often recommend rugs as the fastest and simplest design element available to totally reinvent a room or to revitalize existing décor, while at the same time providing warmth and depth, sound absorption, and floor surface protection.