It is interesting to note that the Bakhtiari region in central Zagros, where the prehistoric site of Qale Rostam is located, has a long term historical record of nomadic communities. The aim of archaeological investigations in this region is to go beyond the historical record, through the archaeological material. The small scale of excavation and material gathered from Qale Rostam does not diminish its importance for the archaeology of Neolithic Iran. On the contrary, since it is one of the earliest known high altitude (almost 2,000 m a.s.l.) sites in the high Zagros Mountains, at the southern fringe of the central Iranian Plateau, its geographic and ecological situation raises the question of the attractiveness of the region in Neolithic times.
The new bioarchaeological studies from Qale Rostam provide clear evidence for 7th millennium cal. BC subsistence of an agropastoral community. More interestingly, kill-off profiles (based on caprine tooth eruption and wear) hint at substantial degrees of mobility, which does seem to have changed from time to time, resulting in shorter or longer phases of occupation. Clearly, the quite extreme environmental setting around Qale Rostam would have played a role in structuring human-animal mobility rhythms. However, the human factor, i.e. cultural identity, has probably more to do with migratory patterns, possibly along horizontal routes, as evidenced by the adoption of an exogenous component (domestic sheep) and wide-ranging changes of regional ties seen in the material culture. Whether Qale Rostam was used by one group or different cultural entities still remains evasive. Migratory patterns (i.e. vertical and/or horizontal) as well as the scale of movement (i.e. local, regional and beyond) could have varied in the course of a millennium of use.
In order to bring an answer to the question of migratory patterns, other proxies such as biogeochemistry and isotope analyses are planed in the near future.