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The Artchives of Falconry Timeline image 2
The Artchives of Falconry Timeline image 2

Mural by Tim Jessell - Courtesy Marshall Radio Telemetry

Timeline of Falcony

This interactive exhibit explores the significant events, people, books, art, and organizations spanning the history of falconry. The earliest portrayals of falconers and their birds emerged in petroglyphs and artifacts dating nearly to the dawn of civilization, yet the birth of falconry remains a lively topic of debate among scholars. Whatever its true origin, the history of falconry is a fascinating multicultural tour of ancient civilizations, foreign invaders, human migrations, and eras of cultural enrichment.

To explore this timeline, advance through the entries displayed in chronological order above the timeline bar, using left and right arrows, or scroll through the timeline bar to the date or era of interest, and select a flagged event. As you move forward in time, the entries get more densely packed. Use the magnifying glass on the left to zoom into the timeline so you can better parse out the sequence of things. You can always press the return arrow on the left side of the timeline bar to return to the earliest record. We hope you enjoy your journey!

About this Exhibit

Assembling an unbiased, inclusive history of global falconry may be an unattainable goal. Much of the content in this timeline is based on access to a collection of books, art, and material culture primarily rooted in the western tradition. We acknowledge these limitations and regret the omission of countless stories, events, and/or notable falconers who are overlooked here. The challenge is to include just enough entries to compose a digestible review of major themes in falconry, while also representing the diverse cultures and perspectives that contributed to this rich heritage.

One of the most difficult questions to answer is: When and where did falconry first emerge? Early cultures known to practice falconry include the nomadic tribes of the Central Asian steppe and Persia, who generally left behind little archaeological evidence of their presence. For entries pertaining to the earliest evidence of falconry, we relied upon peer-reviewed archeological papers, while later information was gleaned from surviving books, manuscripts, and other written accounts.

However, the secrets of falconry were primarily handed down through a master-apprentice relationship for millennia - like most ancient arts and crafts. Until the 19th Century, falconry books, like many other literary topics, were rare indeed and largely penned by, and/or for, kings and other aristocrats who could read and write. The story of ancient falconry beyond the castle or manor is much less understood, thus the search for a complete history may remain unresolved.

Archives of Falconry falcon image

Exhibit Curators

John M. Goodell, Executive Director / Curator, The Archives of Falconry
Rocky Montgomery, Guest Curator

Exhibit Designer and Multimedia Producer

Marc Dantzker, RangeWide Productions