QaNaTES is an acronym that means ‘Qaleh Naneh: Text Excavations and Survey in the Marivan Valley’. This joint Italo-Iranian project undertakes scientific investigations in the Marivan region, located in the Zagros area in central-northern Iranian Kurdistan, near the border with Iraq. This scientific programme can be considered a pilot project for an initial study concerning the occupation of the area of the Lake Zarībār and the valley of Marivan during the Bronze and Iron Ages (ca. 3000-600 BCE). This area has great archaeological potential, although it was overlooked during the early explorations of Western Iran in 1930-1940 for identifying and recording the archaeological mounds located along the major communication routes (principally roads, rivers, and mountain passes). In fact, the expeditions by both Aurel Stein, the British archaeologist known primarily for his explorations and archaeological surveys in Central Asia (Old Routes in Western Iran, London 1940), and Erich F. Schmidt, a German but American-naturalised archaeologist of the Oriental Institute of Chicago and a pioneer in using aerial photography in archaeological research (Flights over Ancient Cities of Iran, Chicago 1940) were carried out between 1935-1937 in three distinct regions of Western Iran: the valley of Saimarreh and its tributaries (Luristan), the central area of Zagros along the ancient road (Khorasan Road) leading from the Diyala river to present-day Hamadan and the central plateau of Iran, passing through Kermanshah and Kangavar, and, further north, in the Solduz valley and Sardasht area in the southern basin of the Lake Urmia (West-Azerbaijan). These explorations formed the basis for all subsequent archaeological research in this territory until 1979. In the last decade, in collaboration with foreign institutions, Iranian archaeologists have began new scientific programs to investigate still unexplored areas of the Iranian Kurdistan. Within this renewed interest, the QaNaTES project starts: building synergies between partners, it uses modern research perspectives and a multi-disciplinary approach in order to understand the complexity of the cultures developed here, and their role in the dynamics of the relationships between Mesopotamian lowlands and Iranian highlands.