Database Tutorials

Welcome to the Madaba Plains Project’s FileMaker Pro Database (MPP_FMDb) tutorial. The FileMaker Pro Database is a system for recording archaeological data collected on excavations that use the Madaba Plains Project’s excavation method and dig manual. Originally, excavation data was collected on worksheets and stored in filing cabinets but now the Madaba Plains Project’s FileMaker Pro Database can be loaded on Mac and PC computers, iPads, iPhones and other iOS devices. With this program excavation data can be collect, collated and analyzed in real time on an iOS device in the field.

System Requirements: FileMaker Pro  17/ FileMaker Go 17 and above.

The following videos will take you through a step-by-step guide for logging into the database, entering data and uploading photos.


Login: The first step in entering data into the MPP FMDb is to log in. Make sure you know how to use an iPad or other smart device before you begin and get the password for the device and the file. This video will show how to navigate to the Filemaker Go icon, Log into Filemaker Go, locate your file and add any connections to other files if necessary. >>Video<<

New SquareNew Square: Select the New Square button when a square is being opened for the first time. This video will show how to follow the New Square Checklist, register the Square Info, Set the Benchmarks and add Staff. It is important not skip any of the steps or your data will be lost. >>Video<<


Home Page: The central hub or heart of the MPP FMDb is the Home Page. This video will explain all of the buttons on the home page including the Square, Locus and List buttons. It will also cover the swipe feature and the purpose of the graph on the right. Pay special attention to the warning at the end .

Square InfoSquare Info: Once the square has been registered and the benchmarks and staff photos are added other square features will be open. This video will explain the remaining tabs on the Square info page and how to create and view Top Plans, Top Down Photos, Square Photos and Balk Drawings.

ReOpen SquareReopening Square: Select the Reopen Square button if a square has been excavated in the past and it is the first day of excavation for a new season. This video will show how to locate and follow the steps on the Reopen Square Checklist, add a new season set new Benchmarks, and add new Staff. then at the beginning of each season and check off the items on the list. >>Video<<

New Clean UP

New Clean Up Locus: When a new square is opened usually the first locus is a clean up locus. This video will show how to set up the first Clean Up locus by filling in the Locus Info sheet, its location in the square and then Assigning the Record number. It will also review the tabs associated with a Clean Up locus. >>Video<<

Earth Locus icon 2.jpgNew Earth Locus: The Earth Locus will probably have more records than any other type of locus in a square.  This video will show how to start a new Earth Locus, navigate the Locus Data tab, add a Supervisor Plan, set up a Pottery pail, fill out Identification tags, add Locus staff, include Locus photos, view Top plans, etc. There are many steps to filling out locus data sheets but they are not always completed at the same time so supervisors can return to each step as necessary. Other types of loci follow a similar pattern.