Exclusive to the Museum: a cotton tea towel with a design inspired by the Pazyryk carpet.
The Pazyryk carpet is the oldest surviving carpet in the world and displays an early example of the skilled workmanship that goes into carpet making.
The carpet is thought to have been discovered frozen in the tomb of a Scythian nobleman in the Pazyryk valley of the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia.
The detailing on the carpet is of horsemen (warriors riding on horses), a ribbon pattern in the middle with a border illustrated with deer.
About the Scythians
The Scythians were a mysterious and feared ancient people who lived in the vast region connecting southern Siberia and the Black Sea between 900 BC and 200 BC. They were wild, tattooed horse riders who, it is said, drank from their enemies’ skulls and were the first experts in mounted warfare. The only written accounts come from their neighbours, the Assyrians, Greeks and Persians, but stunning gold objects from the Siberian Collection of Peter the Great and recent archaeological discoveries of frozen tombs in Siberia have now shed new light on their nomadic customs and culture.