An exploratory project to tackle key issues in medieval environmental, cultural and animal studies.


Project FALCO’s main premise is to search the potential for multidisciplinary investigation on the relationship between humans and other species in medieval Portugal. This we achieve via a second premise, which is to look closely at the historical human links with one specific group of animals, known as raptors or birds of prey.


As a team of linguists, archaeologists, historians, art historians, literary scholars, geographers, ethnographers, and teachers, we take a fresh look at well-known primary sources, employing established approaches from within the Arts and Humanities, in order to learn what these can tell us about human-animal relations, and the type of questions that we should be asking. This helps us determine the potential as well as the boundaries of given types of historical materials in tandem with the approach(es) used.


Through exploration and sustained debate, we aim to come at a strong methodological foundation for the broad-ranging, cross-disciplinary investigation of medieval human-animal relations, set to work widely across subjects.
The project was supported financially by the Portuguese science agency FCT throughout 2022 to the first half of 2023, under the title Hypothesising Human-Animal Relations in Medieval Portugal (FCT EXPL/HAR-HIS/1135/2021).


FALCO carries on as a think-tank about human-raptor ties in the middle ages, even after the end of FCT’s public funding in June 2023. We continue to publish, debate, induct new scholars into the field, and engage with the public, as well as to look out for further avenues of support. If you are willing to contribute in any way, do get in touch at


Project Team

Principal investigator and Project Coordinator:  Tiago Viúla de Faria

Co-Principal investigator:   Rémy Cordonnier

Advisers: Aleks Pluskowski, Baudouin van den Abeele, José Manuel Fradejas

Full research scholar:  Afonso Soares de Sousa

Investigators: Alice Tavares, Ana Paiva Morais, Ana Sirgado, André Oliveira da Silva, Carlos Pimenta, Diana Neves Martins,  Fabio Barberini, Filipa Ferreira Soares, Filipe Alves Moreira, Hélder Carvalhal, Joana Ramôa Melo, Sónia Gomes

Verão com Ciência scholars: Ana Marques, Fábio Gonçalves

Research interns (2023-24): Joana Rosa

Research interns (2022-23): Fábio Gonçalves, Joana Gonçalves

Interim researcher in art history (2023): Inês Mineiro Abreu

IEM support staff: Ricardo Cordeiro, Beatriz Gil, Ana Celeste Glória, Carlos Alves

Logo design: Carlos Moreira


Acknowledgements: Adelaide Miranda, Amélia Álvaro de Campos, Ana Raquel Roque, Catarina Barreira, Catarina Tente, Elisabete Pires, Luís Correia de Sousa, Paulo Catarino Lopes, Pedro Pinto, Ricardo Miguel Godinho, Roger Lee de Jesus, Rui Pedro Neves, Simon Davis  … and Gabriel Viúla — thank you for supporting the Project!

Funded by FCT : 01.01.22-30.06.23 : DOI 10.54499/EXPL/HAR-HIS/1135/2021


FALCO, Instituto de Estudos Medievais. Colégio Almada Negreiros. Campus Campolide NOVA, 1099-085 Lisbon Portugal |


Partner institutions: