Predictive Modelling for Archaeological Heritage Management

The Project

Predictive archaeological maps play an increasingly important role in the spatial planning process at all scales from the municipal to the national. However, the validity and reliability of current predictive models have been questioned. The aim of the project was to conduct a thorough analysis of current models and methods, explore avenues for improvement, and formulate recommendations for future policy and research.
The project ended in 2007.


Following the production of a baseline report, the project did concentrate on the in-depth study of the most important issues. These are grouped into the 6 themes presented here.

Interim reports on each of these have been submitted for expert consultations both in the Netherlands and internationally.

The final publication includes a set of proposals for ‘best practise in predictive modelling’.

See also: predictive modelling in archaeology up to date.


1 Archaeological Input Data Quality, quantity, aggregation
2 Palaeogeography & History Extending models of the physical landscape
3 The Socio-Cultural Landscape An assessment of current and future approaches
4 Spacial & Chronological Resolution Improving the scale and specificity of predictive models
5 Spacial Statistics & Model Logic Geostatistics, Bayesian inference
6 Model Testing Prospection & validation


The project team reflects a unique collaboration of all parties involved in archaeological predictive modelling in the Netherlands. Academic researchers, workers at national government agencies, and commercial consultancies each bring their own expertise to the project:

Jos Deeben, Daan Hallewas and Paul Zoetbrood of the Dutch State Service for Archaeological Heritage Management (ROB - now RCE) were responsible for the management and preservation of the national archaeological heritage, including the production of maps indicating heritage values for use in the planning process (the ROB participation ended in April 2005).

Hans Kamermans of the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University (UL), Martijn van Leusen of the archaeology department (GIA) of the University of Groningen (RUG) and Philip Verhagen of the VU University Amsterdam conduct research into the methodology and applications of GIS-enhanced predictive models.  


List all publications predictive modelling project 

LEUSEN, MARTIJN VAN AND HANS KAMERMANS (eds). 2005. Predictive Modelling for Archaeological Heritage Management: A research agenda. Amersfoort, ROB. Richly illustrated. Stiff wrappers. 232 pp. (Nederlandse Archeologische Rapporten, 29).

ISBN: 9057990601. 
Price: € 20.00

This volume can be ordered at ArchaeoBook.

PHILIP VERHAGEN. 2007. Case studies in Archaeological Predictive Modelling   ASLU 14. Leiden University Press.

Dutch archaeology has experienced profound changes in recent years. This has led to an increasing use of archaeological predictive modelling, a technique that uses information about the location of known early human settlements to predict where additional settlements may have been located. Case Studies in Archaeological Predictive Modelling is the product of a decade of work by Philip Verhagen as a specialist in geographical information systems at RAAP Archeologisch Adviesbureau BV, one of the leading organizations in the field; the case studies presented here provide an overview of the field and point to potential future areas of research.

ISBN-13  978-908-72-8007-9
Price: € 39.50

This volume can be ordered at Leiden University Press.

See also: 

HANS KAMERMANS, MARTIJN VAN LEUSEN AND PHILIP VERHAGEN (eds). 2009. Archaeological Predictions and Risk Management: Alternatives to Current Practice ASLU 17. Leiden University Press.

The Netherlands are one of the few countries in Europe where predictive models play an important role in cultural heritage management. The models are used to predict archaeological site location in order to guide future developments in the modern landscape. Many scholars however consider the application of predictive models for this purpose highly controversial. Between 2002 and 2006 a team of Dutch researchers conducted strategic research into predictive modelling on behalf of Dutch cultural resource management. One of the goals was to develop best practices for the production and application of these models. This book is the second and final edited volume of publications of this Predictive Modelling project. It brings together technical papers on developing new methods for predictive modelling and applied, interdisciplinary ‘action research’ focusing on how the models are, or should be, used by stakeholders in cultural heritage management in the Netherlands.

ISBN 978 90 8728 067 3
Price: € 29.50

This volume can be ordered at
 Leiden University Press.


Dr. Hans Kamermans

Last Modified: 05-01-2016