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Accent Marks: Try entering a keyword without accent marks, such as Teotihuacan instead of Teotihuacán, and you will bring up both accented words and unaccented words. (As a rule, indigenous-language words are not accented in English but they are accented in Spanish.)

Singular: Try entering a keyword without any pluralization. For example, "Maya" will bring up Mayas but not vice versa. Entering Maya will also bring up Mayan.

Breadth: If you are looking for information about the Zapotec or Mixtec cultures, be sure to search not just those specific terms but also placenames, such as Oaxaca or Monte Albán.

English vs. Spanish: If you are looking for information about a specific codex, you may want to try searching both the English and Spanish names for it (if you are able to read both languages). For example, there may be articles about the Mendoza Codex, the Codex Mendoza, or the Códice Mendocino. To avoid problems with word order, just search "Mendoza" or "Mendocino."

Personal Names: If you are searching for material about a historical figure, such as Gerónimo de Mendieta, you may want just to search "Mendieta," since some articles might spell the first name Jerónimo, and some may not include the first name in the title. Bernardino de Sahagún, for instance, is so well known among Mesoamericanists that many article titles will just refer to his last name.

Overlapping Culture Names: Many people confuse the terms Aztecs, Mexica, and Nahuas. If you are seeking information about this culture group, you may want to try searching all three terms. The term "Aztecs" is more often used by archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians, but they are also moving toward using the more general "Nahuas." "Aztecs" has a certain association with the empire, for instance, it technically should exclude the people of Tlaxcala, who were not members of the empire but occupied a pocket of resistance within it. The term "Mexica" should be used to refer specifically to the people of Mexico, the city, although some scholars, perhaps inadvertently, have broadened its use to be equivalent to "Aztecs." "Nahuas" is gaining favor, especially among ethnohistorians, for it refers to all people who spoke Nahuatl and shared certain cultural traits rather than a specific polity.


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