What is the Pazyryk Carpet?

The Pazyryk Carpet
The conventional wisdom in rug scholarship dictates that the Pazyryk Carpet was made in the near East and and somehow made it’s way to a burial mound in the Altai mountains of Siberia. The Pazyryk Carpet was found with a number of other textiles mostly felts. The conventional wisdom is that on stylistic grounds as well as distribution and frequency of discovery in this and other kurgen the felts are local. Obviously the cruder felts which reflect so much of what we se in the local metal work were obviously local. The Pazyryk Carpet on the other hand shares a design motif that we see in Persian and Assyrian architecture was far to sophisticated to be local. Now everything changes. On the basis of an article in Ghereh by Harald Bohmer we must reexamine the whole Pazyryk Carpet issue.

In the Ghereh article Bohmer drops a major bombshell and it explodes virtually unheard. Bohmer released his findings that the same dye was used in the felts as was used in the Pazyryk Carpet. What this tells us is that the Pazyryk Carpet and the felts were both made in the same place. That being so, now the origin of the Pazyryk Carpet must be reexamined.

My recollection is that Bohmer determined that the dye was not one found in Middle Eastern and Central Asian carpets and textiles. The dye analysis most closely matched Polish Cochineal. This however is a dye as I stated that is not seen in any similar textiles. I strongly suspect that this is from a a dye source found in the Tarim Basin. There is currently a dye study of the textiles found in the Tarim basin archeological digs. I suspect that this will clarify the situation considerably.

One problem with this is that the tests are limited to some extent by the test samples. The Tarim Basin tests should be a considerable help in sorting things out.

The Pazyryk Carpet