Engraved decoration of a hunting scene

History of Hunting

The human species began as hunter-gatherers, and ever since men and women around the world have hunted for subsistence, for profit, or for sport.

Hunting has had a profound effect upon landscapes and ecologies, and has both preserved and destroyed whole species of animals and birds.

About 10,000 years ago man first began to domesticate animals and plant crops. From settled farming communities, now producing an excess of food, came the ability to specialise, to learn other craft skills, to live in towns, and to become civilised.

The change to settled agriculture and the development of civilisation led to increased populations, which ever since have threatened animals by destroying their habitats.

Despite the change to a settled agricultural existence, with its much reduced need to catch food to survive, man’s love of hunting continued.

Hunting offered excitement, tested strength, courage, skill and was an opportunity for the wealthy to show off, as can be seen by some of the fabulously decorated weapons.

For many today, hunting is repulsive and indefensible; to others it is a natural right; and for some it is still essential for survival.


A special exhibition in the White Tower at the Tower of London, commemorating the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt.

23 October 2015

Tower of London

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Did you know?

Mass-produced steel

The first mass-production process for making steel was invented by Englishman Henry Bessemer. Rejected by the British his process was adopted by the German gunmaker Alfred Krupp, who became the most advanced armaments manufacturer in Europe.

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