The Leiden Mastaba Project was initiated in 1998 to develop a coherent database of iconographic programmes in Old Kingdom elite tombs from the Memphite area (c. 2600-2150 BCE). The project, directed by Dr. René van Walsem from Leiden University, resulted in the original MastaBase on cd-rom in 2008. It has since proven to be an indispensable research tool.
In 2014, the Leiden Mastaba Study Group was formed, to work on an enhanced and updated version of the database. Currently a new online open access database is being prepared, to be consulted free of charge by researchers, students and interested people around the world.