The role of the New Archaeology of the 1960s is recognized as decisive in the history of archaeology: an awakening from the “long sleep of archaeological theory” from about 1880 to 1960. But at the same time, limitations in the New Archaeology are responsible for corresponding defects in the present scene. The first of these is the lack of clear policy for the handling and especially the publication of data. It is argued that the outstanding defect of Cultural Resource Management, especially in the United States, is the failure to promote a clear policy that all survey work and all excavations should be adequately published. Accompanying this is the inadequate provision for the effective retrieval, at a national level, of the information which does emerge from CRM projects. The responsibility for this lies at the door of the academic archaeologists.
The second defect is the failure to recognize that the New Archaeology primarily offered new and interesting problems, not ready solutions. The widespread misconception that processual archaeology has become “normal science” is partly responsible for the lack of steam in the current theoretical scene in the United States. Some alternative approaches are indicated, and it is suggested that cognitive archaeology may, in the 1980s and 1990s, take its place alongside the social archaeology of the past two decades as a significant growth area.