From the introduction:
"The location of Lake Zeribar in the Zagros Mountains within the Near Eastern "Fertile crescent”, along with the considerable thickness of its bottom sediments, has made it a very promising object of study from various points of view. Continuous sedimentation in the lake through the last almost 50 000 calendar years, as well as the good preservation of several kinds of fossils, permit the reconstruction of vegetational, aquatic, and climatic changes of regional and local signiﬁcance. Well recorded climatic oscillations between 15 000 and 10 000 cal. yr BP are of special interest because they correlate with the time of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural economies of human populations in the Near East. It was just this location of Lake Zeribar in an area most interesting for archaeologial reserach of the oldest agricultural societies in the Old World that inspired Professor Herbert E. Wright, Jr to concentrate on the study of the lake sediments. From his initiative from the early 1960s, the sediments of Lake Zeribar became the subject of palaeoecological investigations carried out by researchers representing various natural sciences. The publications, which presented at ﬁrst the preliminary information and later the results of extensive pollen-analytical research, appeared between 1963 and 1977. During the years that followed, the achievements of palynological investigations were often used in discussions concerning climatic and vegetational changes in the Near East during and following the Last Glaciation and their presumed bearing on the origin of agriculture. The increased general interest in global climatic changes and the development of new methods in Quaternary studies resulted in attempts to further explore Lake Zeribar sediments. New expeditions could not be organized, but well preserved sediment cores were still available at the Limnological Research Center, University of Minnesota. They were used for dating plant remains with the AMS method, as well as for sedimentological, and isotopic analyses. Several resulting additional publications are still
appearing. Short reports about the diatoms and plant macrofossils were also published, but the information contained in these records was not fully exploited.
The still active interest in palaeoecological evidence obtained from Lake Zeibar encouraged me to discuss with a group of Polish scientists the prospects of carrying out additional research of materials kept in the archives of the Department of Palaeobotany, W. Szafer Institute of Botany. Professor Andrzej Witkowski agreed to present palaeoecological interpretation of diatom records using the counts made by the late Assoc. Prof. Kazimierz Wasylik. ln addition. Assoc. Prof. Andrzej Hutorowicz investigated oospores of Charales that had not been identified. Professor Stefan W. Alexandrowicz studied the snail shells. Professor Felix Yu. Velichkevich used his experience to identify certain plant macrofossils, particularly Potamogeton fruit-stones. Assoc. Prof. Adam Walanus adapted the existing radiocarbon dates to provide the calendar time scale used in all chapters. Professor Jerzy J. Langer used physico-chemical methods to verify the occurrence of charred plant remains.
The work of the Polish team, along with that of Dr. Lora R. Stevens on the isotopic record, got an important stimulus from the side of Professor Herbert E. Wright, Jr and Professor Willem van Zeist, who offered their generous and honorary help in completing this monograph about Lake Zeribar palaeoecology. Their deep knowledge of problems involved in the climatic and vegetational history of the Near East provided important grounds for better understanding the new results. I feel much indebted for their consent to participate in this new discussion of the evidence provided by Lake Zeribar studies."
1. Introduction (Krystyna Wasylikowa
2. History of research (Herbert E. Wright, Jr)
3. Geologic and climatic setting of the sites (Herbert E. Wright, Jr)
4. Outline of the vegetation of western Iran (Willem van Zeist)
5. Coring and sampling methods (Herbert E. Wright, Jr and Krystyna Wasylikowa)
6. Description of sediments (Krystyna Wasylikowa and Herbert E. Wright, Jr)
7. Lake Zeribar: dating and sedimentation rate (Adam Walanus and Krystyna Wasylikowa)
8. Late Pleistocene and Holocene vegetation at Zeribar (Willem van Zeist)
9. Paleoecology of Lake Zeribar in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene reconstructed from the flora of aquatic and marsh plants (Krystyna Wasylikowa)
10. Diatom paleolimnology of Lake Zeribar, Iran, in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene (Andrzej Witkowski, Kazimierz Wasylik , Horst Lange-Bertalot, Małgorzata Bąk and Karolina Derwich)
11. Oospores of Charales in Late Pleistocene and Holocene sediments of Lake Zeribar, Iran (Andrzej Hutorowicz)
12. Molluscs of Late Quaternary lacustrine sediments of Lake Zeribar (Iran) (Stefan W. Alexandrowicz)
13. Charred plant macrofossils in lake Zeribar sediments (Jerzy J. Langer and Krystyna Wasylikowa)
14. Variations in effective moisture at Lake Zeribar, Iran during the last glacial period and Holocene, inferred from the δ18 values of authigenic calcite (Lora R. Stevens, Emil Ito, and Herbert E Wright, Jr.)
15. The Lake Zeribar paleoecology: a synthesis (Krystyna Wasylikowa, Willem van Zeist, Herbert E. Wright, Jr, Lora R. Stevens, Andrzej Witkowski, Adam Walanus, Andrzej Hutorowicz, Stefan W. Alexandrowicz, and Jerzy J. Langer)
Appendix 1 (Depth and age of samples used for various analyses)
Appendix 2 (List of plant taxa identified on the basis of macrofossils ils found in sediment cores 63J, 70A, 63B, 70B, and 63C)
Appendix 3 (List of diatom species identified in the sediment cores 63 J, 70A, and 70B)