Anthropology 002 (Casqueiro): Search Terms

Archaeology

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Archaeology Subject Headings.

SUBJECT HEADINGS

Sometimes instead of searching by keywords, you may have better luck finding materials by 

consulting the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).  This is important because you can sometimes get better

 search results.  For example, articles, books, and web sites on "Mesopotamia" will usually be indexed under "Iraq." 

To browse such headings, they are in the five thick red volumes on the left side of the reference desk.  They are also listed in the Library Catalog and in some of the subscription databases.  Some generic subheading terms include “Achaeology,” “Exctinct Cities,” and "Antiquities."  Some good specific terms include the name of a city (such as Pompeii) or the name

 of a landmark (such as Macchu Picchu).  

Here are some examples:

Excavations (Archaeology)

Extinct City

Ancient City

Antiquities

 

Subsistence Farming

Subsistence Economy

Agriculture

 

Forensic Archaeology

Social Life and Customs

Social Structure

Families

Divison of Labor

 

Stonehenge (England)

England--Antiquities

Prehistoric Peoples--Great Britain

Archaeology--Great Britain

 

Chichen Itza Site

Mayas--Antiquities

Mexico--Antiquities

Maya Pottery

Maya Architecture

Indians of Mexico--Antiquities

 

Dunhuang Caves (China)

Buddhist Antiquities

Buddhist Art and Symbolism--China

 

 

 

Angkor Vat

Temples--Cambodia--Angkor (Extinct City)

 

 

Rome--Civilization

Rome--History--Empire

Colosseum (Rome, Italy)

TEOTIHUACAN Site

SAN Juan Teotihuacan (Mexico)

TEMPLES -- Mexico -- Design & construction

Pyramids--Mexico

 

 

Greece--History--to 146 B.C.

Minoans

Crete (Greece)

 

Vikings

Viking Antiquities

Europe--History--476-1492

 

Machu Picchu Site

Incas--Antiquities

 

 

 

 

Egypt--History--to 332 B.C.

Great Sphinx (Egypt)

Great Pyramid (Egypt)

 

     

Keywords

While not official subject headings, these keywords can be very fruitful for your research. Try to also think of other terms such as these. Keyword searches look at all the information in the book or article record including title, author, abstract, table of contents, etc. It always helps to think of synonyms, as the way one person would describe something is not the same way another would.

Mogao Caves

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Ruins

What "Search Terms" to Use?

Using the correct words to search will help you find relevant information. Different authors and search tools use different words to describe the same concepts, so it is useful to have a list of similar and related terms in your arsenal when you set out to search for relevant information. The process of creating these alternative terms is called brainstorming terms or concept mapping.

EXAMPLE

Great Britain AND Prehistoric

For Finding Materials Outside the Americas

For looking up ancient civilizations outside of the Americas in the Library of Congress Subject Headings Books

1.  Begin with the name of the current country or nation’s name (example: Iraq instead of Mesopotamia) 

2.  Combine with a subheading term such as “Antiquities,” “Civilization,” “Economic Conditions,” History,” Politics  and Government,” “Religion,” and “Social Life and Customs” 

3.  When using History or Civilization as a term, be sure to combine it with a particular date range to specify a  particular historical period. 

Examples:  

Iraq AND Civilization AND To 634            

Cambodia AND Antiquities 

To find dates for particular civilizations look after the word "History" or "Civilization" 

For Looking Up Civilizations in the Americas

For looking up ancient civilizations in the Americas: 

1.  Just use the name of a particular tribe, and use the name of a particular people as a singular term such as 

“Hohokam”  or “Pueblo”.    Most often both singular and plural are used (Inca, Incas) so use the truncation symbol (an asterisk) to capture both.  

Example: Inca*  Pueblo*  Combine your terms with words such as "ancient cities," "antiquities" "civilization," or culture.

2.  If an unidentified tribe  or one that is not as fruitful, start with one of these: Indians of North America, Indians of South America, Indians of Central America.  Combine with terms such as Antiquities .

Examples:  Indians of South America—Peru    

Indians of North America—Antiquities—Mound Builders 

What "search terms" to use?

Using the correct words to search will help you find relevant information. Different authors and search tools use different words to describe the same concepts, so it is useful to have a list of similar and related terms in your arsenal when you set out to search for relevant information. The process of creating these alternative terms is called brainstorming terms or concept mapping.

EXAMPLE

Sex Differences AND Communication


If for some reason, you are getting results you do NOT want (say for example you want to find only articles on communication in opposite sex marriages) try a NOT search.  Librarians caution that NOT searches often also weed out articles that may have been relevant for you.  So only perform such searches if you have LOTS of results (say over ten that are in full text format):

EXAMPLE

Marriage NOT Same Sex