The Central Zagros Archaeological Project is co-directed by:

Prof. Roger Matthews
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 227, Reading RG6 6AB

Dr Yaghoub Mohammadifar
Department of Archaeology, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran-65174

Dr Wendy Matthews

Department of Archaeology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 227, Reading RG6 6AB, UK

Dr Abbass Motarjem

Department of Archaeology, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran-65174

Kamal Rasheed
Director, Sulaimaniya Directorate of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq

Team member profiles (2011-2014 phase)

Dr Robin Bendrey - Acting as principal zooarchaeological expert for the CZAP project, my research investigates all aspects of animal use, including hunting and animal management strategies in the Zagros Early Holocene and Neolithic, with particular focus on issues of domestication. This work builds upon my previous research in prehistoric zooarchaeology. My specific research interests have previously focussed upon the zooarchaeology of prehistoric Eurasia, in particular horse domestication and early use and the evolution of early pastoral economies, with research undertaken in different regions of Europe (most recent on the Early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik) and along the Central Asian steppe zone (Kazakhstan, Mongolia and southern Siberia). My research interests also include mountain ecology, isotope geochemistry, palaeopathology, and archaeozoological methodology.

 Dr Sarah Elliott - I research the relationship between human-animal interactions in early sedentary societies, specifically looking for traces of animal management through analysis of dung remains as indicators of both animal penning and diet and resources such as fuel. My PhD integrated portable XRF analysis of phosphorus concentrations and microscopic identification of dung remains in micromorphological thin section, in addition to study of dung contents through phytolith analysis with the aim of reconstructing animal diet management and ecology.


Dr Amy Richardson - As former Project Manager for CZAP, I worked on database development and outreach, as well as web administrator.  My research focuses on the role that artefacts play in the transmission and exchange of ideas and the ways in which economic shifts represent changing social ideologies.  In order to establish the movement of materials and goods across the region, I am running pXRF analysis of the raw materials, including clays, obsidians, and cherts.


Dr Jade Whitlam - My role as a PhD student within this project involved studying the archaeobotany of the Neolithic Central Zagros. I am primarily interested in the dynamics that exist between human populations and their natural environment, particularly how people exploited and managed plant resources in the past and the evolving nature of this relationship. My research focusses on issues ranging from the use and discard of plants across the settlements, to sedentism, resource management, the ancient environment and potential cultivation practices. 

- CZAP, as an interdisciplinary and multinational project, has many contributors, from excavators to post-ex specialists. To see further details of the team involved in CZAP investigations in 2012, click here

- To find out more about the 2008 CZAP Team, please click here