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Exploration of the History of Hunting

Dr. Oliver Grimm, Dr. Ulrich Schmölcke

It is the aim of this long-term project to initiate studies on the underlying topic, possibly on the basis of cooperation with external researchers in Germany and from abroad. Chronologically, the research covers the entire period from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The main vehicles are workshops which are held regularly about more general or special aspects of hunting history. The publications which result from those workshops are meant to relate to research topics of particular interest in a goal-oriented way.

Fig. Remains of aurochs, boar, wild horse, otter, beaver and harp seal as prey of hunting c. 7000 years ago. 

By exploring hunting history, the ZBSA follows its agenda to analyse the evolution of human culture and environment in their interdependency in a broad manner. Archaeology and archaeozoology provide the point of departure, but it is considered important to take into account other scientific faculties. Among the natural sciences, this includes methods of detailed analysis (aDNA studies, measurements of different stable isotopes) but also paleobotanic reconstructions of changes in landscapes and their influence on hunting approaches. Equally important is the consideration of research in the Humanities, from Ethnology to History of Religion and further to Historical Studies, Name Analysis and Art History.
The research of hunting history at the ZBSA encompasses scientific and more popular articles that to some extent are a product of cooperation between scholars at the centre. Additionally there are numerous projects regarding the Old and Middle Stone Ages, in which hunting matters are important, and finally hunting history was the object of two voluminous workshops hosted by the ZBSA. The first introductory one (2011, published in 2013) was about northern European hunting in a long-term perspective, whereas in the second one (2014) a particular facette was considered, i.e. falconry.

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