Dr Robert J. Wallis, Professor of Visual Culture, has been published in the journal, ‘The Falconer’, in an article entitled ‘”To claim a great antiquity for that diversion”: re-examining the earliest evidence for falconry’. Wallis’ critical overview of this neglected subject develops his work published in the journal ‘Antiquity’ in 2014 and considers the latest evidence in art and archaeology from prehistoric Britain, the Near East, Central Asia and East Asia.
Wallis challenges the widespread assumption that falconry originated in Central Asia up to 6,000 years ago, arguing that the convincing evidence here does not in fact emerge until the middle of the first millennium CE, and in East Asia a little earlier, from the early first millennium CE. Recent suggestions that falconry may have been practiced in Bronze Age Britain are also unpersuasive.
Wallis demonstrates that the most convincing evidence for the earliest falconry emerges from the early to mid third millennium BCE in Anatolia. His ongoing research is in preparation for the first book-length treatment of the subject.