Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 49-100

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Integrating Archaeological Theory and Predictive Modeling: a Live Report from the Scene

  • Philip VerhagenAffiliated withResearch Institute for the Heritage and History of the Cultural Landscape and Urban Environment (CLUE), Faculty of Arts, VU University Amsterdam Email author 
  • , Thomas G. WhitleyAffiliated withBrockington and Associates, Inc.


Archaeological predictive modeling has been used successfully for over 20 years as a decision-making tool in cultural resources management. Its appreciation in academic circles however has been mixed because of its perceived theoretical poverty. In this paper, we discuss the issue of integrating current archaeological theoretical approaches and predictive modeling. We suggest a methodology for doing so based on cognitive archaeology, middle range theory, and paleoeconomic modeling. We also discuss the problems associated with testing predictive models.


Predictive modeling Cognitive archaeology Middle range theory Model testing