It is a pleasure to write a preface to this special issue of Geological Magazine, on the Zagros orogen. The papers reinforce Geological Magazine's commitment to publishing top quality research across subject areas within Earth Sciences, in forms from data-rich papers to large-scale reviews. It is notable how many of the papers are multi-disciplinary, or draw upon results from a particular study area to advance our understanding of more general geological processes. On behalf of the journal, I thank the Guest Editors Olivier, Bernhard and Guy for their enormous effort in gathering and editing the papers within the issue. Their enthusiasm has resulted in a much larger set of papers than was first thought likely. Nearly 60 authors are represented in the 17 papers; thanks go to them all for contributing so willingly. These scientists have collectively made this issue a body of research which will be invaluable for years to come. The benefits will go to those working on the geology of the Zagros, but also anyone with an interest in how the continents are formed and deformed, to create the landscapes on which we all live.