The Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project, supported since 2015 by Arcadia and with additional support since 2017 from the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund (CPF) is led by the University of Oxford in partnership with the Universities of Leicester and Durham. The EAMENA project records cultural heritage sites in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, in collaboration with local and national heritage authorities in the partner countries, with a particular focus on using remote sensing to identify additional archaeological sites and record their condition of preservation. Inclusion in the EAMENA database does not indicate that an individual site is under threat; the database includes all sites in areas where it has conducted research and documentation in order to provide a full archaeological context. The Maritime Endangered Archaeology project (MarEA), based in Southampton and Ulster Universities and also funded by Arcadia, works closely with EAMENA, and contributes directly to the EAMENA database. In addition to the University research teams, the project has multiple partners and stakeholders, especially partnerships with the national heritage agencies and NGOs in some countries.
The database is held on ARCHES v 7, software developed by the Getty Conservation Institute for cultural heritage management. Tutorials and guides to using the database are available on this website and are currently being updated from Arches v5 to v7. We are working to ensure the long-term sustainability of the database, but please note that is intended to be used as a research tool and is not a repository.
Open Access Policy
Access to the data is based on the principle of “As Open as possible, as closed as necessary” – and in line with Arcadia, we seek to follow the FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, Reusability) principles. EAMENA aims to promote best practices in FAIR and serve as a reference platform for managing heritage and archaeological data, accommodating contributions from multiple projects across different chronological, spatial, and thematic dimensions in an open, cumulative, and transparent framework.
Full Open Access is not possible as there are genuine concerns that open access to precise location information may facilitate looting, while some details on the management of sites and their condition may include personal data. We therefore only limit access where legitimate concerns or regulations from individual countries about the security of the sites and related information make this essential. We have 3 types of access:
To give as much access as freely as possible, the database has a Public Access mode. This requires a very simple self-registration process where users set up their own password and which then immediately grants access to the database, but without coordinates, the zoom function on the map, or to site condition data.
We encourage use of the database for research, however, given the concerns mentioned above, we require a slightly more detailed registration process where we ask for information on the planned research and any institutional affiliation. Our assessment of applicants is simply to confirm that the applicant has a genuine research interest, be that in heritage management or more traditional archaeology.
We welcome additions to the database, but for this you would need to apply for Contributor Access.
The EAMENA database has been built by EAMENA and MarEA team members, volunteers, and student placements, staff in national heritage agencies, and other selected projects. To make the resource more comprehensive and valuable as both a research and a heritage management tool, we are now opening the database to allow others to enter data. These academic research partners will be able to contribute data to the database and edit their records. They will not be able to delete data. This database user role is called "Contributor". Of course, data entry does require learning how the data is structured and how to input data. The necessary training information is all online, either on the EAMENA website and GitHub, and is supplemented by two free MOOC courses. Support will be available, and initially contributors will be asked to enter their data via a bulk-upload Excel spreadsheet which runs some data formatting checks.
When Contributors add data to the database, they assign their IP to the University of Oxford where it is immediately assigned to the database’s Creative Commons license, so that
neither Oxford nor EAMENA are taking control of the data in any way. (The EAMENA Database is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.)
Where the data submitted is not already part of a research publication, we encourage contributors to submit a data paper for publication (for example in Journal of Open Archaeology Data or the Internet Archaeology Journal). This marks that particular contribution as ‘their work’ and will give that contributor recognition for their efforts beyond the database. Contributors would also add a record for this publication to the database as an Information Resource linked to each relevant heritage record. Where large numbers of records are added from a single project, such as a survey, they can be connected as a Shared Dataset, also linked as an Information Resource.
In all cases (except where there is a need for anonymity) we expect contributors to add their author information to all records to ensure proper citation of their work is possible, as in the following format:
EAMENA, Contributor, A. (2023) KEY in University of Oxford, University of Southampton EAMENA Database. Retrieved from www.https://database.eamena.org (Accessed: 2023-06-01)
Where EAMENA is always the first author, except where a Shared Dataset is the direct result of one author (individual contributor or project) – for example a dataset coming in from a survey, or from a PhD thesis.
KEY is the abbreviated URL of the search undertaken in the database.
The EAMENA database will generate standard bibliographic entries for all searches conducted, and we intend to also automate the abbreviation of search URLs which can be > 500 characters in full.
We expect all users of the data to cite the EAMENA database but also any data papers that discuss/present units of data that they subsequently use.
Please note that the EAMENA database is a research and management tool and is not a repository. Submission of data to the database does not fulfil any commitments you may have with your funder to archive data. However, the EAMENA project has a commitment with its major funder, Arcadia, and with the School of Archaeology in the University of Oxford to keep the database running. Active use of the database is important for its future sustainability.