Rugs and Carpets
Historians of the ancient Middle East and Asia Minor refer to Armenia as the center of rug weaving. In the 13th century, Marco Polo stated that, "the finest carpets in the world were woven by Armenians...." This gallery has rugs dating back to the 18th century, in spite of the Genocide of the Armenians and the deportation (1915-1922) from their historic homeland that brought about the destruction of many historic and cultural objects of art. Most of the rugs in the Manoogian collection are inscribed.
Oriental rugs are multifaceted cultural artifacts (both functional and aesthetic) and have been known in the Armenian Highlands from ancient times. Excavations have uncovered fragments of wool in Bronze Age tombs.
Physical evidence found at Karmir Blur has led some scholars to propose that the Pazyryk rug (the earliest known knotted rug dating to the fifth century B.C.) at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg was woven in Armenia.