A visit to any of the great Western Museums with collections from the Middle East or the museums in the region itself will quickly reveal evidence of Saluki-type hunting hounds alone or in conjunction with their handlers, decorating cylinder seals, pottery, carved reliefs, murals, mosaics and painted miniatures or as free-standing figurines and sculptures, which date back to at least 4,000 BC.
It is probable that in their early development from wolves such hounds played a purely practical role by extending the hunters' range of options in their pursuit of game for food. However later under the Mesopotamian and Ancient Egyptian civilisations, the Greek and Roma Empires and the Caliphate, it is clear from contemporary writings as well as art that the hunters used their hounds not only out of necessity to acquire food but also to enjoy the thrill of the chase.
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