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ARCH 240 Archaeology and History of Ancient Mesopotamia (BMC)

ARCH 240: Archaeology and History of Ancient Mesopotamia, Prof Helft, Spring 2016

Search Tips

Search Tips:

Remember to try different ways of spelling site names. Try using the Sumerian or Akkadian names or words.

Phrase Searching:

An important strategy for one to employ when researching phrasal concepts (e.g., "Uruk expansion" or "Warka vase") or conducting known-item searches for titles: "Royal Cemetery at Ur"

Boolean Operators

The large number of citations in many catalogs and databases requires one to limit otherwise broad or general searches in order to retrieve a manageable and pertinent number of results.  Conversely, overly narrow search terms can return too few results.  One way of solving both problems is to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), which allow one to limit or expand searches depending on his or her needs.

For example: a search for temple AND Eanna will return items that contain both terms

Temple OR Eanna will return items that contain either "temple" OR "Eanna"

Nested Searching:

When pairing two or more keywords with another keyword, it is helpful to "nest" the former terms within a larger Boolean search. For example, (Eanna OR Inanna) AND temple will return results for temple and any one (or both) of the parenthetical terms.
(Many catalogs or databases will have an "advanced search" option, which provides multiple search bars to facilitate nested searching.)

Truncation and Wildcards:

Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.  For example:  one could search for politic* to find poltic, politics, political, politicking, and so on.

Wildcard searching works similarly: a search for t??th will return results for teeth, tooth, tenth, and so on.