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Tracking the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in the Kermanshah Valley, West Central Zagros Mountains, Iran.


The long history of Palaeolithic research in the Kermanshah Valley has revealed a number of sites associated with the Middle to Epipalaeolithic sequences including well-known site of Warwasi Rockshelter. Despite this importance, our knowledge of the Palaeolithic occupation there and even in Iran is suffering from the lack of a clear, up-to-date and scientific work on stratigraphy, settlement systems/dynamics and accurate absolute dating. To overcome some of these problems, the applicant has conducted a Palaeolithic research project in the Kermanshah Valley. This project includes an intensive survey and test excavations around the Warwasi Rockshelter to provide new evidence on the settlement systems, anatomically modern human demography and the process of cultural changes during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. This project has resulted into the discovery of 255 Palaeolithic sites and over 7000 Middle though Epipalaeolithic artefacts recovered from the Kermanshah Valley. Furthermore, the test excavations in three caves in the area uncovered stratified Middle to Upper Palaeolithic sequences. The MUP-Trans Zagros aims to identify the ghost lineage between Middle and Upper Paleolithic occupations in one of the key regions in the Middle East by multi-proxy and basic approaches of GIS for settlement systems/dynamics, absolute dates and micromorphology analysis of the newly discovered and excavated sites in the Kermanshah Valley. For these aims, the applicant will be greatly benefited from training and experiences offered by the department of Archaeology & Anthropology at Cambridge University in the interdisciplinary researches on the Eurasian’ Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition.


Net EU contribution
€ 195 454,80
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
United Kingdom

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East of England East Anglia Cambridgeshire CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 195 454,80