After four years of collaboration and hard work, MEGA (Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities) will launch next month. It was designed to inventory archaeological sites so conservators and archaeologists can monitor and preserve them more easily. It was developed at the Getty Conservation Institute, with funding aid from the World Monuments Fund and in partnership with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.
It was originally intended as a catalogue of Iraq’s antiquities, which was particularly important in light of the looting the took place during and after the invasion (and which has apparently heated up again); however the chaos there caused the plans to be shelved and Jordan stepped in as the primary partner. According to this NY Times article both the Getty and the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in Iraq hope to expand MEGA to add Iraq’s materials.
It’s not clear if the database will be made available to a wider audience in the future – it would certainly be a valuable asset in other areas of teaching and research.