One key aim of CZAP is to investigate climate change at the end of the Ice Age and in the Early Holocene. A second aim is to study the transformations in human-environment relationships associated with increasing sedentism and management of plants and animals.
These sites enable comparative study of local and regional variation in palaeoclimate and environment, between the upper cooler Zagros and the lower warmer Zagros. Sheikh-e Abad is located in the high karstic zone of the Zagros mountains, on a fertile plain at 1,425m asl, surrounded by peaks over 3,000m high, 38km northeast of Kermanshah city. Jani is situated in the lower folded zone on a fertile plain at 1,280m asl, between ridges 1,500m high, 90km to the southwest of Sheikh-e Abad. The site of Ganj Dareh, where there is evidence of the earliest domesticated goat in the world, c. 8,000 cal BC, lies close to these sites, c. 35km south of Sheikh-e Abad. The sites of Zarzi, Bestansur and Shimshara lie between 500m and 800m asl.
Palaeobotanical, archaeozoological and environmental data from CZAP indicate that the sites of Sheikh-e Abad and Jani were located close to a rich range of ecological zones and resources including plains, wetlands and mountains. Results are being compared to records of climate and environment change over the last 40,000 years from sediment cores from Lake Zeribar, 160km northwest of Kermanshah, at c. 1,300m (Van Zeist & Bottema 1977; Stevens et al. 2001; Van Zeist 2008; Jones and Roberts 2008).
Dr Abbass Motarjem investigated several caves and rock shelters in the Kurtavij region.