Dieter Vieweger (Director General)
Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dieter Vieweger
Since 2005 Dieter Vieweger is the director of the German Protestant Institute for Archaeology in Jerusalem and Amman. He was born on March 8th in 1958 in Chemnitz and studied Theology as well as early hisory in Leipzig and Frankfurt.
Dieter Vieweger is the deputy of the Provost in Jerusalem and coordinates the protestant educational work in the holy city.
In Germany he is the director of the Institute for Biblical Archaeology in Wuppertal. After teaching at Universities in Berlin he became Professor for Biblical Archaeology at the University in Wuppertal in 1993.
In the 2002 he was also named Research-Professor for Archaeology at the private University Witten-Herdecke. He is a trusted lecturer for the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.
He is a member of the scientific consultants for the Magazine for Orient Archaeology, at the German Archaeological Institute (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, DAI) in Berlin, in the department for the Orient.
2017 he recieved the Federal Cross of Merit from the federal president Frank-Walther Steinmeier, after being suggested by the Minister Armin Laschet.
Archaeological research projects (As of 01.10.2017)
2015 – 2022 Director of the excavations on Mount Zion in Jerusalem and the redesiegn of the area in the archaeological park
2017 – 2020 Director of the project „Kulturgüterschutz in Jordanien. Digitale Aufnahme und Dokumentation der Funde im archäologischen Museum in Amman“
2014 – 2018 Director of the geophysical ecploration of the christian quarter in the old city of Jerusalem
– in cooperation with Dr. Jürgen Sachs, TU Ilmenau
since 2014 Initiator od the peace project „My city – my history“
– in cooperation of the DEI with the Schmidts Girls School, Jerusalem
2011 – 2018 Survey- and Workupcamagne of the Gadara Region Project under direction of Dieter Vieweger and Jutta Häser
– Final publication in the years 2016-2019
2001 – 2011 Co-Director of the „Gadara Region Project“ in Jordan
– 18 Excavations on the Tall Zirāʿa, Jordan (with Dr. Jutta Häser)
– since 2007 Prince Hassan Bin Talal is patron of the project
2009 – 2012 Director of the Restoration– and Researchproject „Touristic improvement of the excavation under the church of the redeemer“ in the old city of Jerusalem
2003 – 2004 Geophysical prospection in Ḫirbet ez-Zeraqōn, Jordan
2003 Excavation, Survey und geophysical prospection in the area of the Villa Hadriana, Italien, 2003
2001 Geophysical prospection in Olympia, Greece, 2001
1999 Director, Excavation in Sāl, Jordan, 1999 (in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Zeidan Kafafi)
1998-1999 Director of the excavation in Ba´ğa I and V (near Petra), Jordan
1998-1999 Co-Director of th Excavation in Eš-Šallaf, Jordan, 1998-1999
(in cooperation with Dr. Hans-Dieter Bienert)
1995-1996 Co-Director of the excavation on the Tell el-‘Orēme (Kinneret), Israel, (in cooperation with Prof. Dr. V. Fritz)
1992 Survey in the area Maschana/Mattana, Jordan, 1992
Honorary Doctorate for Prof. Dr. Dr. Vieweger
Source: Press Office of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal:
The Subject Area Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften of the Bergischen Universität awarded the Archaeologist and Theologist Prof. Dr. theol. Dr. phil. Dieter Vieweger an honorary doctorate. Prof. Vieweger teaches at the Kirchlichen Hochschule Wuppertal old testament and biblical archaeology and has been directing the Institute for biblical Archaeology at the University, as well as the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in the Holy Land in Jerusalem and the corresponding Institute in the Jordan Capital Amman.
Dieter Vieweger was born in 1958 in Chemnitz. At age 16 he was denied graduation from high school for political reasons. Via an Instute of the chruch he got to study Theology anyway. He did his first Exam at the Church of Sachsen at age 23 in 1981. 1986 he was promoted at the University in Leipzig. After the Ordination in 1987 at the Thomaschurch in Leipzig he was the pastor of the Thomaschoir for four years. 1989 followed his habilitation at the Universität Leipzig, 1991 he was awarded the Dr. theol. habil.
After the reunification Vieweger could finally pick up an academic teaching position , from 1989 till 1991 at the Ecclesiastical University Berlin as a Professor for the Old Testament and from 1991 till 1993 as a Professor at the Humboldt-University, before he was made Professor for the Old Testament and biblical Archaeology at the ecclesiastical University Wuppertal in 1993.
Director Prof. Dr. Lambert T. Koch said at the promotion ceremony:
Professor Vieweger is an exquisite scientist and researcher, dual Ph.D. and Professor and teaches at three Universities. He is an internationally known grandeur of his subject. In his book ‚Archäologie der biblischen Welt‘, which could be called the standard reference book for biblical archaeology, he even mentions Indinana Jones, who – Quote – ‚hunts for the ark of the covenant, masters seemingly impossible Problems, overcomes everpresent dangers and puts the viewer under the spell of the holy land‘. In short an ‚Exciting, diverting treasure hunt for millenia old ancient artefacts.‘
Prof. Koch pointed out the hardships in Viewegers work, which result from the geographical locations, Areas of Israel, Jordan and Syria, a region, which produces global news on a daily basis because of its political tensions. The practical challenges which the Research is facing locally are enormous. This is particularly true for the excavation on the border triangle between Israel, Jordan and Syria, on the Jordan side.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Orth, historian in humanitarian and cultural studies, said in his encomium, the honorary doctorate is thanks and recognition for his research efforts, ‚which include the execution of highly recognized projects in the frontal orient and the goal of communicating scientific results to a large public audience, as well as political potential with regards to a peaceful future in an important but difficult region and the advancement of Wuppertal as a scientific research location.‘ Viewegers research can be found in a large number of publications; his inventory includes over 200 of them.
Archaeology as a job in Wuppertal – the foundation for that seems ‚barren‘, said Prof. Orth. Althoug there are two big names in Archaeology which can be linked to the city: Wilhelm Dörpfeld and Carl Fuhlrott, who discovered the neandertal and used scientific processes and findings in his archaeological work. Prof. Orth about Prof. Vieweger: ‚The consistent inclusion of modern scientific methods was and still is fascinating to humanitarian scientists‘ It was a lucky coincidence, that the institute for biblical archaeology was allowed to use rooms on the Campus Freudenburg by the chancellor of the university, Dr. Klaus Peters.
Vieweger himself showed again and again, how he wanted biblical archaeology to be preceived. Namely not as a auxiliary science subordinate to bible interpretation. The theological part of biblical stories can‘t be assessed by archaeology, it can neither back it up nor refute it. The humanitarian and cultural subjects of the Bergische University have taken note of Prof. Dr. Viewegers work several times over the years, the rules for promotion include the possibilty of promoting with a paper about biblical archaeology .
In Jordan his institute for archaeology has earned recognition even by high government officials; for example the jordan royalty has a protective rule over the excavations in Tall Zira’a. Next to the Goethe-Institut and German-Jordan University Viewegers institute in Amman is a pillar of German culture. This applys to Jerusalem accordingly.
But with all this international work Vieweger hasn‘t forgotten his starting point: The domestic research center in which his projects are prepared and edited is located on the Campus Freudenberg. Prof. Orth: ‚Prof. Dr. Viewegers work has made major contributions to the reputation of Wuppertal as a location for scientific research.‘