The Ottoman empire is one of the longest lasting in human history, spanning more than seven centuries. Established by the descendants of Central Asian Turkic peoples in the early 13th century, the Ottomans quickly expanded from their heartland in Anatolia into both Europe and the Middle East. At the height of its power in the 16th and 17th centuries, The Ottoman Empire rivaled both the Safavids of Iran and the Mughals of India as the major power in the Islamic world.
Classical Ottoman carpets exhibit the influence of a few major strains in design. One important influence is that of the interlocking geometric pattern ad infinitum , a ubiquitous feature in Islamic art throughout the world . This design tradition, in which positive and negative space elements are given almost equal prominence, was executed most famously in the well known 'Holbein' and 'Lotto' carpets. Another important influence comes from the Persianate medallion and floral repertoire, seen most prominently in 16th century Medallion Ushak carpets. To be sure, these two design strains are not exclusive of each other. They complement each other beautifully in some of the greatest rugs from the classical era.