This 3m Ardabil passage runner is such a gorgeous piece and as colourful and full of life as the tribe that wove it! The name Ardabil comes from the Zoroastrian name of "Artavil" which means “a holy place”. The major tribe in this area is called the Shahsavan meaning “lovers of the Shah”. All carpets woven in and around Ardabil are influenced by this tribe.

Their ancestors, called the Safavids, were responsible for establishing the greatest Iranian Empire, called the Safavid dynasty, since the Islamic conquest of Persia. This dynasty had its origin in Ardabil and it is from this city that the Safavids established control over all of Persia and reasserted the Persian identity in the region and so becoming the first native dynasty for hundreds of years.

The Safavids were a Persian Sunni dynasty of mixed Azerbaijani and Kurdish origins, which ruled Persia for 200 years. After some political unrest in the dynasty, the Shah of the Safavids invited Shia clerics from the Lebanese region and officially changed the religion from Sunni Islam to Shia Islam. It is this tribe that was responsible for making Shia Islam the official religion in Persia and this has remained unchanged to this day.