The geometrical characteristics of oriental carpets : an examination of cultural diffusion
This thesis considers cultural diffusion in the context of oriental carpets. Geometrical symmetry and its classification are an important feature. Literature review covers a wide range of relevant concepts from the disciplines of anthropology, sociology and psychology and includes consideration of aspects from the work of Boas [1938, 1940, 1948], Burton , Levi-Strauss , Jung  and Koffka . The published work of Woods [1935, 1936], Washburn and Crowe , and Hann [1991, 1992], from the area of geometrical symmetry and its classification, is also considered in some detail and further conceptual development proposed, including a range of concepts relating to the classification of two-colour counterchange patterns. The principle emphasis in the research is on the analysis of patterns and motifs with respect to their symmetry characteristics. Data were collected from 1,000 Persian and Anatolian carpets, and similarities and differences are highlighted. Case studies are presented of the Pazyryk carpet (the oldest known complete pile-woven carpet, held in the Hermitage Museum, St.Petersburg) and the Ardabil carpets (the only dated pair of Safavid carpets, one held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the other in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles). The geometrical characteristics of each carpet are examined, compared to the results of the larger survey of Persian and Anatolian carpets, and a discussion is developed relating to cultural diffusion.