The Earliest Neolithic of Iran

The long awaited CZAP volume is out at the end of this month, published by Oxbow. This is the first project monograph from the Central Zagros Archaeological Project (CZAP), and includes 2 (and a half) chapters co-authored by myself, on the biomolecular analysis of coprolites (oh that old chestnut!) and phytolith analysis. Dr Wendy Matthews coordinated the micromorphology analysis and directed sampling, and in the monograph she provides an excellent integration of micromorphology, phytolith and geochemical analysis to address questions about resource use and animal management at this early pre pottery Neolithic site.

I also did the chapter on molluscs - though I am in no way an expert on this, I was the most qualified person on the 2008 excavation team (having worked on a shell midden as an undergrad!), and as we unexpectedly ended up with an incredibly large volume of molluscs from the excavation, a brief preliminary report was needed (hence half a chapter - would make a great project for someone in the future!). I was part of the 2008 team, and headed out to the field literally the day after submitting my PhD. To this day it qualifies as one of the best excavations I've ever worked on (despite spending 2 months sleeping on the floor of a school classroom!). Iran is a wonderful country with a fascinating history and rich archaeological heritage, I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to take part in the project and spend time there. Sheikh-e Abad is a fantastic site, I met some wonderful people, and we made some really exciting discoveries! But you'll have to read the book to find out more about that!

Zagros archaeology - it's all about looking cool in the shades

Sunrise in the Zagros