Origin of the “Red Carpet” treatment

Wonder how this  practice originated?  An interesting discussion in Google Answers  points  to Aeschylus describing the practice in 500 B.C. But the discussion on Phrase Finder points to a more recent Moghul origin. Apparently, the brother-in-law of Emperor Jehangir  decked out the  path with  velvets and  gold brocade  so that the Emperor’s feet did not have to touch the  road.   (Via  Priya Raju)