Raptor on the fist – falconry, its imagery and similar motifs throughout the millennia on a global scale

The study of falconry and its history at the ZBSA

Following an initiative by ZBSA scholars, the history of falconry has been studied for years in a cooperation of falconers and scientists who have come together during conferences.

Cover - Raptor on the fist

The conference at the ZBSA in 2014 led to a first, very broad, publication (2018) in the English language. This was dedicated to falconry and bird symbolism throughout the millennia on a global scale.

Die Tagung im Jahr 2018 an der New York University Abu Dhabi (Vereinigte Arabische Emirate) galt der konzentrierten, kritischen Betrachtung von Greifvogel- und Falknereiabbildungen, erneut raum- und zeitübergreifend. Das reich bebilderte, englischsprachige Buch zum Thema ist am 04. August 2020 erschienen.

Both books share the common opinion that there was an earlier period with no falconry but with bird symbolism whereas, in later times, falconry was never only hunting with trained birds of prey since it also carried a symbolic meaning.

The new, second book

Oliver Grimm (ed.), in cooperation with Karl-Heinz Gersmann and Anne-Lise Tropato, Raptor on the fist – falconry, its imagery and similar motifs throughout the millennia on a global scale. Publication in considerable extension of a conference at the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) in the United Arab Emirates, March 5th to 8th 2018. Advanced studies on the archaeology and history of hunting, vol. 2.1-2.2 = Advanced studies in ancient iconography II, edited by the ZBSA/Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology in the Foundation of the Schleswig-Holstein State Museums, Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig, Germany, and NYUAD/New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, made possible by generous support of the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC, United Arab Emirates) and the Emirates Falconers‘ Club (EFC, United Arab Emirates) (Kiel/Hamburg 2020).

Table of contents


Research clusters

Man and Artefact

Research Priorities

Jagd- und Fischereigeschichte, Visual History


Dr. Oliver Grimm

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