The Getty Conservation Institute, WMF, and Jordanian and Iraqi Heritage Authorities Partner to Create Middle Eastern Geodatabases for Antiquities
The looting and destruction of archaeological sites in the wake of the Iraq war shows that protecting a country’s cultural heritage during a time of conflict is no easy task, especially when that heritage involves historically important sites that can’t be moved out of harm’s way. But even in times of peace, the preservation of a country’s archaeological heritage depends upon a comprehensive understanding of historic site locations, dimensions, and their key characteristics. And while the boundaries of ancient Mesopotamian cities such as the mud-brick of Babylon in Iraq or the distinctive rock cut architecture of Petra in Jordan are more difficult to miss, they, along with smaller, less well-known sites are increasingly at risk from a range of threats including tourism and urban encroachment.
Now, partnerships between the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) in Los Angeles, the World Monuments Fund (WMF), and separately with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities (DoA) and the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH) aim to aid in the complicated task of inventorying, monitoring, and managing archaeological sites and monuments in the Middle East to help protect them for future generations.