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     The belief is that Cyrus the Great introduced rug weaving during his reign of the Persian Empire in 529 B.C. Since that time, hand-made rugs continue to be made in villages, with various designs elements and colors that identify which village or tribe makes them. The Safavid Dynasty (1499-1722) is of particular note because the reigns of Shah Tahmasp and Shah Abbas created and funded weaving workshops featuring high-quality artisans and materials. Artists would create the carpet designs, and the best designs were woven by the best weavers in the empire. This constituted the Golden Age of Persia. At that time, trade was established with Europe.

     The Safavid Dynasty, along with the court-funded carpet making, ended with the Afghan invasion in 1722. People’s energies were diverted into fighting the Turks, Afghans, and the Russians. Rug weaving survived with people in villages and nomads continuing to make carpets. Toward the end of the 19th century, carpet weaving and trade flourished again. Through trade, Europeans and Americans took an interest in Persian rugs.

     Today, thanks to investors who want to ensure the best materials are used and the art form is kept alive, carpet making is being revived.

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