Predictive Modelling

The Lochbrow Landscape Project uses predictive modelling within its research parameters. The project has been a successful field test for models by Graves (2011), and a subsequent publication has been written addressing this topic (see Further Reading).

Model 2, weighted for precision, showing the location of Lochbrow. Note the distances between Lochbrow and the nearest ‘high’ prediction area. © Dorothy Graves McEwan (2012)

In short, predictive modelling is a quantitative analysis that captures and replicates certain patterns in archaeological site distributions. This process is far from perfect however, as some types of information about archaeological sites are difficult (or maybe even impossible) to quantify.

The Lochbrow Landscape Project uses archaeological predictive models qualitatively as well as quantitatively. One aim of the project is to show how qualitative or experiential analysis obtained via fieldwork can improve on the traditional interpretations of model output, which often come across as quite numerical but not very ‘archaeological’! We hope that by demonstrating the value of predictive modelling in fieldwork-based archaeological research, other archaeologists and researchers will become interested in exploring more archaeological landscapes using these or similar, related techniques.


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