Survey in the Akko plain (1993-1995)

The GPIA ran a survey of the Akko plain under the leadership of Gunnar Lehmann and Martin Peilstöcker in the context of a comprehensive archaeological survey of Israel from 1993 to 1995. The systematic inspection, which incorporated all settlement activity from the Paleolithic to 1948, led to the discovery of as many sites as were already known, and, as such, the catalogue of archaeological sites was doubled. Among these were two Bronze Age, one Hellenistic and one medieval settlement. The survey also found countless rural structures, roads and roadside installations.


  1. G. Lehmann/M. Peilstöcker, Bericht über den Survey im Hinterland von Akko, JbDEI 4, 1995, 31ff.
  2. G. Lehmann, Zur Siedlungsgeschichte des Hinterlandes von Akko (Israel) in der Eisenzeit, Orientarchäologie 5, Berlin 2003, 49-78.

Baja I and V (1999-2000)

The Ba'ja site (35°27'45"E/30°24'55"N; 1120 NN) was first mentioned by D. Kirkbride and was later investigated and described by M. Lindner (Naturhistorische Gesellschaft Nürnberg).

The excavation at Ba'ja I was part of a larger project with the title 'Ba'ja - Archäologie einer Landschaft', that was run by H.-D. Bienert (GPIA Amman), R. Lamprichs (Dresden) and D. Vieweger (Wuppertal) sponsered by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and the GPIA.

D. Vieweger was responsible for Ba'ja I (and later Ba'ja V). The 150 x 70 m large area of Ba'ja I contained an Islamic village - only two spots at the site could be linked to much older Nabataean activity. Ba'ja I thus probably contains, apart from the Islamic village, a Nabataean outpost, not a large settlement.

During his work at Ba'ja I, D. Vieweger also discovered a Neolithic site, Baja V, which has now been processed by H.-G. Gebel.


  1. Dieter Vieweger/Hans-Dieter Bienert/Roland Lamprichs, Ba'ja V: A Newly Discovered Neolithic Site in the Ba'ja Region, Occident & Orient 4.1/2, 1999, 72.


  1. Hans-Dieter Bienert/Roland Lamprichs/Dieter Vieweger, Ba'ja - The Archaeology of a Landscape: 9000 Years of Human Occupation, Occident & Orient 4.1/2, 1999, 62-65.
  2. Hans-Dieter Bienert/Roland Lamprichs/Dieter Vieweger, Ba'ja-Project, Southern Jordan, American Journal of Archaeology, 104, 2000, 575-577.
  3. Hans-Dieter Bienert/Roland Lamprichs/Dieter Vieweger unter Mitarbeit von Katrin Bastert-Lamprichs, Janet Haberkorn, Bernd Müller-Neuhof und Isabell Ruben, Ba'ja - Archäologie einer Landschaft. Vorbericht über archäologische Feldforschungen, in: Ricardo Eicmann (ed.), Ausgrabungen und Surveys im Vorderen Orient I, Rahden/Westf., 2002, 159-213.
  4. Dieter Vieweger, Ausgrabungen in Ba'ja I bei Petra, Welt und Umwelt der Bibel, 17, 2000, 75.
  5. Hans-Dieter Bienert/Roland Lamprichs/Dieter Vieweger et al., Ba'ja - The Archaeology of a Landscape. 9000 Years of Human Occupation: A Preliminary report on the 1999 Field Season, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 2000, 119-148.
  6. Katrin Bastert/Hans-Dieter Bienert/Roland Lamprichs/Dieter Vieweger, Ba`ja Regional Project Report on the First Field Season, 1999, Occident & Orient, 5. 1/2, 2000, 39-42.

Esh-Shallaf (1998-1999)

Late Neolithic Esh-Shallaf

In 1998 and 1999 two campaigns of excavations at the late Neolithic site of esh-Shallaf were undertaken by Dr. Hans-Dieter Bienert and Prof. Dr. Dr. Dieter Vieweger on behalf of the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology, Amman, and the Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal.
The site of esh-Shallaf was discovered by Prof. Dr. Siegfried Mittmann (University of Tübingen, Germany), and the first superficial investigation of it took place within the framework of the Khirbet ez-Zeraqon project (research on the Early Bronze Age II/III city), which was conducted by the Institute of Biblical Archaeology at the University of Tübingen in co-operation with the Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at Yarmouk University, lrbid, between 1984 and 1994.

According to our research work, esh-Shallaf is a very interesting and well preserved hamlet consisting of a cluster of simply-built huts with fireplaces and stone platforms in between. For details see:



  1. Hans-Dieter Bienert/Dieter Vieweger, Excavating Esh Shallaf - A Pottery Neolithic Site in Wadi Shellale, Occident & Orient 3.2, 1998, 13-14.
  2. Hans-Dieter Bienert/Dieter Vieweger, in co-operation with Katrin Bastert, Lothar Herling and John Meadows, Archaeological Excavations at the Late Neolithic Site of ash-Shalaf: A Preliminary report on the 1998 Season, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 43, 1999, 49-67.
  3. Hans-Dieter Bienert/Dieter Vieweger, in: Virginia Egan; Patricia M. Bikai, Archaeology in Jordan, Esh-Shallaf, American Journal of Archaeology 103, 1999, 492-493.
  4. Katrin Bastert-Lamprichs/Hans-Dieter Bienert/Dieter Vieweger, Late Neolithic Esh-Shallaf 1999: Second Campaign of Excavations, Occident & Orient 4.1/2, 1999, 50-51.
  5. Katrin Bastert/Hans-Dieter Bienert/Dieter Vieweger, Ash-Shallaf, Wadi ash-Shallalah 1999, American Journal of Archaeology, 104, 2000, 571-572.
  6. Hans-Dieter Bienert/Dieter Vieweger/Katrin Bastert, The Late Neolithic Site of Ash-Shallaf, Northern Jordan, Neo-Lithics 3, 1999, 17-18.
  7. Hans-Dieter Bienert/Dieter Vieweger, in Zusammenarbeit mit Katrin Bastert und Lothar Herling, Archaeological Excavations at the Late Neolithic Site of ash-Shalaf: A Preliminary report on the Second Season 1999, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 2000, 109-118.


Jens Kamlah, Der Zeraqon-Survey 1989-1994. Mit Beiträgen zur Methodik und zur geschichtlichen Auswertung archäologischer Oberflächenuntersuchungen in Palästina, Abhandlungen des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins No. 27/1, Wiesbaden 2000, (Kap. 2.1.6./7).

Gadara (Umm Qais) 1974ff.


The GPIA in Jerusalem began a large-scale project in Gadara (Jordan) in 1974 under the leadership of Ute Wagner-Lux. First, the Byzantine central church was uncovered, then the excavation wa sextended to the entire city. In order to be able to continue work at Gadara under the changed political circumstances, the GPIA branch in Amman was established from 1975 to 1978 by Ute Wagner-Lux. GadaraSince she left the institute in 1982, the excavations at Gadara have been solely the responsibility of the institute in Amman. The project has been shared with the German Archaeological Institute DAI since 1987. It is now led by Prof. Dr. Günther Schauerte (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz) and Dr. des. Ing. Claudia Bührig (DAI, Oriental Department).

In 2001 work began on installing a trilingual (German, English, Arabic) information system for visitors to this very significant site. 

Hippos – Sussita (2004)


The GPIA in Jerusalem has been involved in an international project of the University of Haifa since 2004. It has been investigating the decapolis city Hippos / Sussita on the eastern bank of Lake Tiberias which was destroyed by an earthquake in 749 AD. While the excavations to date have concentrated on the public buildings and churches of the city, the institute is most interested in the private structures and the way normal people lived from the Hellenistic to the Omayyid period. 

The GPIA project thus aims to investigate the domestic spaces. An initial topographic survey from 24th November to the 4th December 2004 in the southwest of the city enabled the discovery and mapping of countless buildings. The building structure in this area appears to have been organised according to an orthoganal system, and large terraces were used to offset the steep slopes. The many fragments of columns and other architectural features point to a relatively luxurious standard of living.

Building History of Jerusalem

Provost's residence and Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a Holy City for all three monotheistic religions, and as such is of particular significance for archaeologists, historians and theologists. Since the beginning of exploration in the 19th century, the city has experienced almost uninterrupted archaeological activity.

Ute Wagner-Lux and Karel Vriezen conducted excavations beneath the Church of the Redeemer from 1970 to 1974 in the context of restoration work. They made important discoveries relating to the ancient topography of the city, the course of the second city wall and a previous church at the site dating to the Crusader era. 

Hanswulf Bloedhorn published a 3-volume compendium of the architectural history of Jerusalem with Klaus Bieberstein which encompassed the Chalcolitic to the early Ottoman period and collected together over 1200 sites. This was the first comprehensive handbook on the architectural history of Jerusalem since the Survey of Western Palestine was published in 1884. While he was director of the GPIA in Jerusalem, H. Bloedhorn worked on an updated, English-language edition of the book.


  1. U. Lux, Ausgrabung unter der Erlöserkirche in Jerusalem, ZDPV 88, 1972, 185 ff.
  2. K.J.H. Vriezen, Zweiter vorläufiger Bericht über die Ausgrabungen unter der Erlöserkirche im Muristan in der Altstadt von Jerusalem (1972-74), ZDPV 94, 1978, 76 ff.
  3. K.J.H. Vriezen, Die Ausgrabungen unter der Erlöserkirche im Muristan, Jerusalem (1970-1974), ADPV 19, 1994.
  4. K. Bieberstein/H. Bloedhorn, Jerusalem. Grundzüge der Baugeschichte vom Chalkolithikum bis zur Frühzeit der osmanischen Herrschaft (Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients, Beiheft B 100/1-3; Wiesbaden 1994).

Kallirrhoë (Ain ez-Zara) 1985-1989

The GPIA conducted several excavations at the Oasis of Kallirrhoë (Ain ez-Zara) on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea between 1985 and 1989 under the leadership of August Strobel. The site contains a villa Maritima that is likely to have been built by Herod. The luxurious installations boasted their own baths, possibly for medicinal purposes. Corresponding harbour installations were found on the shore of the Dead Sea. Surveys in the surrounding area yielded further information as to the settlement history of the site and the topography of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea in the Herodian period.


  1. Ch. Clamer, Fouilles Archéologiques de Ain ez-Zara/Callirrhoé, Beyrouth 1997.
  2. A. Strobel/St. Wimmer, Kallirrhoë (En ez-Zara), ADPV 32, 2003.

Kinneret (Tell el-Oreme) 1994-1999

Volkmar Fritz continued his work at Kinneret (Tell el-Orēme) on the northern shore of Lake Tiberias from 1994 to 1999 while he was director of the GPIA in Jerusalem. Crucial new informationas to the topography and history of this significant Bronze and Iron Age settlement could be gained from his large-scale excavations. The foci of the investigations were the defence systems, domestic structures and the street grid. The excavations also brought forth an enormous number of finds. The investigations at Kinneret have been continued by a German-Finnish-Swiss collaborative project since 2003.


  1. V. Fritz, Kinneret - Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen auf dem Tell el-'Orēme am See Gennesaret, Wiesbaden 1990.
  2. V. Fritz, JbDEI 5, 1997, 12.
  3. V. Fritz, JbDEI 6, 1999, 9. 13f.

Madaba, excavations in churches

In the 1960s, the GPIA in Jerusalem conducted intensive investigations of the Byzantine Churches in Jordan under the leadership of Ute Wagner-Lux. This led to excavations at Madeba, during which the Church of the Apostles and another early Christian church were uncovered. Both date to the 5th/6th cent. and boast rich mosaic floors, including the now-famous Thalassa Mosaic.


  1. U. Lux, Eine altchristliche Kirche in Madeba, ZDPV 83, 1967, 165 ff.
  2. U. Lux, Die Apostelkirche in Madeba, ZDPV 84, 1968, 104 ff.