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Records from the Cairo Geniza are the earliest indication that North African Jews were involved in selling carpets and prayer rugs. The first evidence is an eleventh-century receipt for prayer rugs sent from *Qayrawan to *Cairo. That Jews became patrons of carpets in the Middle Ages is known from an early fourteenth-century rug in the form of a runner that is also the earliest surviving medieval rug made on the Iberian Peninsula (fig. 1). The basic composition of the rug is of the type known as the “ sacred tree,” a central trunk with flowering branches, but it is the form of the “…

Cite this page
Vivian Mann, “Carpets”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 23 February 2019
First published online: 2010

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