Sarfirouzabad district, located in the Kermanshah province, is an eastward extension of Mahidasht Plain, one of the archaeologically well-known regions of the Central Zagros flanks. The area is surrounded by parallel mountain chains of Sefid on the north and Nessar on the south, the main water source of which is Ab-iMarikRiver flowing in the middle of the valley westward. The region has various environs such as alluvial deposits, steppe, wooden and barren foothills. The first archaeological survey of the region carried out in 2009, exploring 339 sites ranging from Paleolithic to the Islamic periods. 97 of the investigated sites were assigned to the Parthian period, one of the historical periods of ancient Iran. The study aimed to analyze spatial distribution patterns of the Parthian sites of the region as well as the nature and relationship between natural and cultural factors influencing on that distribution, using GIS technology. The results show that the distribution of the Parthian sites on the Sarfirouzabad district were influenced by a combination of natural and cultural factors and we can realize two kinds of patterns in their distributions over the region.
Cite this paper
K. Niknami, H. Irandoust and A. Tahmasebi, "Environmental and Cultural Factors Influencing Parthian Archaeological Site Distribution in the Sarfirouzabad Plain of Kermanshah, Northwest of Iran," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2013, pp. 69-77. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.41008.
 Y. Mohammdifar, “The Archaeology of Parthian,” SAMT, Tehra, 2006.
 R. J. Wenke, “Western Iran in the Partho-Sasanian Period: The Imperial Transformation,” In: F. Hole, Ed., The Archaeology of Western Iran, Settlement and Society from Prehistory to the Islamic Conquest, Smithsonian Series in Archaeological Inquiry 1, Washington, 1987, pp. 251-282.
 H. L. Dibble “Le Paleolithique Moyen Recent du Zagros,” Bulletin de la Societe Prehistirique Francaise, Vol. 90, No. 4, 1993, pp. 307-312. doi:10.3406/bspf.1993.9599
 E. F. F. Henrickson, “The Late Chalcolithic Period in the Central Zagros Highlands,” Paleorient, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1989, pp. 288-293.
 L. D. Levine and M. A. McDonald, “The Neolithic and Chalcolithic Periods in the Mahidasht,” Iran, Vol. 15, 1977, pp. 39-50.
 M. Yousefi Rad, “Dynamic Stratigraphy of Upper Cretaceous in Northwest Zagros (Kermanshah)-Iran,” Scientific Research and Essays, Vol. 6, No. 28, 2011, pp. 5910 5916.
 I. Brooks, L. D. Levine, and R. C. Dunnell, “Alluvial Sequence in Central West Iran and Implications for Archaeological Survey,” Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol. 9, No. 3, 1982, pp. 285-299.
 I. Brooks, “The Physical Geography, Geomorphology and Late Quaternary History of the Mahidasht Project Area, Qara Su Basin, Central Western Iran,” ROM Mahidasht Project Report 1, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 1989.
 K. A. Niknami and M. R. Saeedi Harsini, “A (GIS)-Based Predictive Mapping to Locate Prehistoric Site Locations in the Gamasb River Basin, Central Zagros, Iran,” In: S. Campana and M. Forte, Eds., From Space to Place, BAR International Series S 1568, 2006, pp. 249-255.
 K. L. Wescott and R. J. Brandon, “Practical Application of GIS for Archaeologists, A Predictive Modeling Tool kit,” Taylor and Francis, London, 2000.
 S. C. Parker, “Predictive Modeling of Site Settlement System Using Multivariate Logistics,” In: C. Carr, Ed., For Concordance in Archaeological Analysis: Bridging Data Structure Quantitative Technique and Theory, West port Publisher, Kansas City, 1985, pp. 173-207.
 K. L. Kvamme, “There and Back Again: Revisiting Archaeological Locational Modeling,” In: M. W. Mehrer and K. L. Wescott, Eds., GIS and Archaeological Site Modeling, Taylor and Francis, London, 2006, pp. 4-37.
 T. J. Wilkinson, “Archaeological Landscapes of the Near East,” University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 2003.
 G. Lock and T. Harris, “Enhancing Predictive Archaeo logical Modeling: Integrating Location, Landscape and Culture,” In: M. W. Mehrer and K. L. Wescott, Eds., GIS and Archaeological Site Modeling, Taylor and Francis, London, 2006, pp. 41-62.