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Object Name: Rug
Place Made: Asia: Central Asia, Afghanistan
Period: Early 21st century
Date: 2001 - 2007
Dimensions: L 141 cm x W 89 cm
Materials: Wool
Techniques: Knotted pile; plain woven; fringed
ID Number: T2008.1.72
Credit: Gift of Max Allen

The Qala-e Ikhtiyaruddin citadel in Herat is a massive structure of fired brick, with huge battlements surmounted by 18 towers. It stands just inside the northwest perimeter of the old city of Herat where Alexander the Great built a fort in 330 BC. The current citadel was constructed in 1305 by the Emir Ikhtiyaruddin, from the remains of an earlier fortress destroyed by the Mongols. It has been repeatedly pillaged for brick and wood over the centuries. In the 1950s a local army commander who wanted to replace it with modern army barracks ordered its total demolition. The citadel was saved through the intervention of King Zahir Shah, and it was restored in the 1970s.