I have to do a project on the silk road. One of the things traded would have been Persian rugs. But who would have imported these rugs, where and why was there a demand for these rugs?

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    Rugs, Tapestries, footwear...all of this would head directly to Germany to create actual warmth and cleanliness in the Castle and ultimately in the Palaces that would be built later. The same would be true of all the dyes used to create all the other "accoutrements" of Royal Life such as table clothes, napkins, silverware, practical clothing...you name it...plus those charged with keeping such luxuries clean. Even a man with a wooden House was rich if he had a rug on the floor and a chair with fabric as it's exterior. Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 3:13
  • @user14394 why specifically Germany? Why not other areas?
    – tox123
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 23:44
  • Because Germany until Hitler was very, very, very, very wealthy. Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 2:47
  • You might want to look into the Pazyryk carpet.
    – Jan
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 6:43
  • Pazyryk Carpet
    – MCW
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


Carpets are a status symbol. They are very costly to manufacture and their purpose (keeping the floor warm) can be easily achieved by much cheaper materials, such as wood or (in nomadic societies) felt or animal skins. Persian carpets of today are often made by Afghan peasants who earn almost nothing and still the carpets easily cost several thousand dollars. There is a quote by Xenophon that gives a hint that the situation was not much different in antiquity:

Next he went to Timasion the Dardanian, for he heard that he had some Persian drinking cups and carpets. Timasion also drank his health and presented him with a silver bowl and a carpet worth ten mines.


One mine were 100 drachmae. Daily wages at that time seem to have been between one and three drachmas, i.e. Timasion's carpet (including the silver bowl?) would have been worth between one and three years of work.

According to wikipedia, early fragments have been found in areas around what would be considered classic silk road locations, such as Turfan and Lop nor in the Tarim basin, in Iraq and in Dura-Europos (Syria). The oldest surviving carpet, however, was found further north, in the small part of Russia that is between the eastern tip of Kazakhstan and the western tip of Mongolia. These are all very dry or very cold places and carpets are biodegredable, so that no very old carpets were found elsewhere does not mean that no very old carpets were traded elsewhere.

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