When providing iconographical descriptions, CBd uses a fixed system of elements, which evolves simultaneously with the database. Since the integration of a new gem may naturally require additional elements, the process is never finished. With more material at our disposal, elements may be re-grouped and former arrangements reconsidered. The list of iconographical elements is created individually for each datasheet, and is done manually at the admin surface. While such a method makes the unfortunate case of mistakes inevitable, it also grants that the search engine truly finds what users are looking for. A few notes on the system:
Visible / invisible elements
Some elements are visibly linked to the database item, others are invisibly linked, which means that they are searchable but do not appear on the datasheet's list. A few cases for invisibly linked elements: - synonyms (eg. Medusa for Gorgoneion), larger categories (eg. Artemis for Artemis of Ephesos, and 'all types' elements, see below), singulars for plurals (uraeus for uraei, 3), no question-mark elements for question-mark elements (eg. Anubis for Anubis?).
Unspecified / all types
Elements marked as ‘unspecified’ are items that belong to a certain category, but lack exact identification. For example, in addition to the specific elements that are assigned to different four-legged animals, such as ‘animal: baboon’ or ‘animal: ram’, there is an element for unidentified quadrupeds (in the list: ‘animal: quadrupeds, unspecified’ to facilitate searching), which contains only those four-legged animals the species of which cannot exactly be determined. Elements marked as unspecified are visible on the datasheets. In the case of deities, the term 'unspecified' is omitted.
Elements marked as ‘all types’ are linked to all items that belong to a category with a general identity. So, besides the specific elements for different bird species (‘bird: falcon’, ‘bird: swallow’, ‘bird: ibis’), gems representing any birds are also linked to the general category ‘bird (all types)’. The 'all types' category is searchable but invisible on the datasheets.