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ANTH 204 Archaeology: Develop Search Strategies

Why Try Different Search Strategies?

Why Try Different
Search Strategies?       

To be an efficient and effective researcher, be...

  • FLEXIBLE: try broad searches first, then narrow searches because search tools require different strategies
  • CREATIVE: try different search words, such as synonyms or related words
  • willing to LEARN AS YOU GO: keep your eyes open for new words or vocabulary that you find in your sources (book, article or website results).  Use this new search vocabulary for your next search
  • willing to ASK FOR HELPask a librarian!
  • PERSISTENT: look in more than one place - use all the search tools in the above tabs

 

Search Words

Combining Search Words
 

  • Try different combinations of search words (see suggested search words in the box to the right)
  • Try those combinations in each of the different search tools in the tabs above

1. FIRST: Try broad search words relating to your topic, such as:

  • archaeology
  • paleology
  • antiquarianism
  • Mayan archaeolgy
  • Biblical archaeolgy
 

2.  NEXT: Try a new search. Add words to narrow your search, such as:

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A LOCATION OR CULTURE:

  • Example searches using selected search words --->
    archaeology iron age Latin America
    archaeology Alaska indigenous
    archaeological Prehistory Japan
    antiquities Middle East
    antiquities Babylonian
    ruins Iberian Peninsula
    excavations Native American

    excavations Apache

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A PARTICULAR TOPIC OR CONTROVERSY:

  • Example searches using selected search words --->
    archaeology "societal structure"
    archaeology "social organization"
    archaeology society hierarchy
    archaeology society hierarchy controversy
    archaelogy society hierarchy debate
    excavation society hierarchy
    excavation society hierarchy debate
    archaeology ruins "political structure" perspectives
    "archeological sites" "social organization" "schools of thought"


3.  FINALLY: Brainstorm synonyms or related terms for search words

  • Example: Mayan -  Maya, mesoamerican, Belize, Guatemala, Yucatan, Latin America, pre-Columbian, indigenous, indian
    • Example searches:
      archaeology mesoamerican
      relics pre-Columbian
      relics Belize
      relics Maya
      relics Mayan
      fossils indigenous Guatemala

 

Boolean Operators: AND / OR / NOT

Source: "Boolean Operators" by Emily Wixson, Standard YouTube license

Selected Search Words

Selected Search Words for Archaeology  (these are not exhaustive, they are some examples)

*Try different combinations of search words in each of the different search tools on tabs above
 

ARCHAEOLOGY
​GENERAL TERMS

archaeology

archeology

archaeological

paleology

antiquarianism

prehistory

lost civilization​​

 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL AREAS OF FOCUS

industrial archaeology

battlefield archaeology

ethnoarchaeology

bioarchaeology

cognitive archaeology

social archaeology

evolutionary archaeology

..etc.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL
SITE TERMS

sites     

excavation

digs      

relics   

antiquities 

ruins

fossils

mapping

survey

TOPICS

arts, writing, literacy

architecture, buildings, cities

religion, spirituality,
ceremonies, rituals

migration

collapse of civilization, cultural change

conflict, war, battles, slavery

ecology, environment

work, economy, trade

leisure, games

food, diet, nutrition, cannibalism

farming, subsistence

technology, trade

clothing

societal organization & structure,
(hunter-gatherer, segementary, chiefdoms, states...etc.)

social inequality, politics

population growth or decline

kinship

marriage

ethnicity

gender roles

health, disease

death, afterlife, burial

..etc.

TIME PERIOD

Bronze Age

Iron Age

Paleolithic

Biblical

Hellenistic

Ottoman

pre-Columbian

...etc.

 

LOCATION

Latin America

Guatemala

Yucatan

Iberia

Basque region

Alaska

Manhattan (New York)

Montezuma County

Cowboy Wash

..etc.

 

CULTURE

Mayan

Viking

Hindu Brahmin

Mongolian

Babylonian

Native American

Coast Salish

indigenous Japanese

aboriginal Australians

...etc.

 

 

CONTROVERSY

controversy

debate

argument

hypothesis

theory

inference

perspectives

interpretations

skepticism

schools of thought

proof

proponents

supporters

opponents

 

 

Helpful Search Strategies

1. When searching the library catalog, databases, or the internet, AND / OR / NOT help you broaden or narrow your search results:


What Does It Do?
Search Examples
AND

narrows your search,
gets you fewer results


drug abuse AND sports
finds information on drug abuse that specifically pertains to sports
OR


broadens your search,
gets you more results


steroids OR anabolic
finds information with the word steroids or information with the word anabolic
NOT


excludes certain terms,
gets you fewer results                              


steroid use NOT wrestling
finds information on steroid use, but excludes information about wrestling

 

2. Use truncation symbols (usually ? or *) in library catalogs and databases to capture all forms of words (forest* will retrieve forest, forests, forester, forested, foresting).

3. Keep searches simple using basic search words. Search on body image women rather than how does body image affect women in the United States?

4. Use a variety of search words.  For example, try different searches to find different results:
          body image women
          self image women
          personal appearance women
          anorexia women
          body image teenagers
          ...etc.

5. Become a power internet searcher!  Use advanced search techniques in Google to get better results from your internet searches