The earliest known pile-weave rug ever found intact is dated to be around 400 BC. It was discovered by a Russiona archeologist in 1949 while on a dig of a Siberian burial site. The site had been frozen in solid ice for a thousand years and the carpet was very well preserved.
The Pazyryk carpet has very rich colors, symmetrical patterns, and fine detail. It was hand knotted using techniques that are still in use today with most tribal rugs and is considered to be an exceptional work of Scythian art.
The Pazyryk culture is most famous due to these burial tombs that have been found as late as 2007. Among them, and most famous is the mummies that have been found here such as the Ice Maiden and a very tattooed Pazyryk chief. These tombs were very well preserved since the 5th century BC due to freezing rains followed by a permafrost in the Siberian region.
It truly is facinating that Archeolgists have not found any tattooing instruments b
ut they had very fine and well developed ebroidery needles. They believe these needles were used to create the elaborate artful tattoos as well as some of the masterful artwork for the rugs.
If you would like to see more about the Pazyryk people and the tombs of the Ice Maiden, I highly recommend visiting the Hermitage Museum of St Petersburg, Russia. A lot of very interesting information of that region.
Michael D. Donahoe