Researching ancient civilizations is often subject to interpretation. Many ancient cultures lacked lasting documentation, therefore, most of what we understand of these groups today is based on the archaeological record. Artifacts are interpreted and placed within the time and place of the civilization. You will be working with these interpretations to understand groups, themes, and events in history.
Use the tabs in this box to research your topic. Try more than one database, and be flexible and patient with your searching. Some helpful tips are listed below.
Evaluating and interpreting historical research
(Adapted from the ALA's Information Literacy Guidelines and Competencies for Undergraduate History Students)
1. Initiate multiple searches within a database looking at your core research concepts and utilizing synonyms, broader terms and narrower terms for each concept.
(Example: If your Concept = Power, alternative terms to try might be authority, ruler, official, king, pharaoh, etc...)
2. Use historically appropriate terms when searching for primary sources in databases and on the Internet.
3. Try using subject terms found within source records to see if they improve the relevancy of your results.
Look at the list of references at the end of secondary and tertiary sources. Make notes of any scholarly works, for example books published by academic presses, and primary source materials.