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The Romans and ancient Greeks used the pigeon extensively for carrying messages and the first sophisticated messaging service was established in Syria and Persia in the 12th century AD, with messages being carried by pigeons from city to city.

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Many more clay images of pigeons have been found during excavations of sites in Iraq and Crete dating back to 3000 BC. Images of pigeons were first found on the reconstructed façade of an excavated temple dedicated to the goddess Ninhursag (Queen of Heaven and Earth) at Al’Ubaid in Sumeria in 3000 BC. Wood pigeons have a varied diet which includes vegetables and berries. The feral pigeon found in urban areas exists exclusively on a diet of seed (normally from human sources) and human refuse, such as fast food waste. Description (adult of the nominate subspecies of the rock pigeon): Diet: Seeds form the major component of the diet, but it varies greatly according to species.

European population estimated at between 17 and 28 million birds.

One species, the Atoll Fruit Dove, has adapted to taking insects and small reptiles.

Some ground feeding species (granivorous species) eat fruit and take insects and worms.

The feral pigeon has few if any natural predators, with man being the main threat to the bird in areas of human habitation.

The sparrowhawk may also predate on the wild pigeon.

For all dates, you will need to look at the construction technique and components used to get a more precise date of manufacture.