Mentioned in texts from the 7th century, and known previously as Ekbatana, Hamadan is one of the oldest Iranian cities, and probably in the world. A windy city on the mythical Silk Road from China, this is a city about 6,000 feet above sea level in the Zagros mountains. The Summers are warm and the Winters relatively cold.
The sheep are hardy at this elevation, giving an excellent grade of wool, mostly woven onto a cotton warp, and single-knotted. The area around Hamadan is huge, producing rugs from over 1,000 villages. This gives enormous variety in design, most villages producing two main 'looks', or more. Colours tend to be strong, with bold patterns, ideal for a high-traffic area in your house.
Dramatic medallions are frequently employed, with generally narrow borders on highly patterned backgrounds. There are also many examples using the traditional overall Herati pattern. Remembering that these are rather primitive 'village tribals', main borders are rarely mitred. Widths can also be irregular, as these are woven on simple floor looms. This of course is absolute proof of the rug being hand-woven.
Queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai brought a strong Jewish influence to the rug-weaving of Hamadan. The city was reputedly mentioned in the Bible as the capital of ancient Persia, and still houses the tombs of these historical figures.