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tv   Faith Matters - Theologian Archaeologist Maverick - Dieter Vieweger  Deutsche Welle  January 6, 2019 12:30am-1:01am CET

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where is home. when your family is scattered across the globe. that's a look existed you do listen to it because it's a journey back to the roots which again made a lot of the. bush harsh family from somalia literally. want to go to urgent assistance. to build family stores january twenty third on w. jerusalem at dawn de to feed a get isn't an early riser. in. four weeks yeah the german theologian and archaeologist digs on mount zion just
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outside the old city walls with may have died he brings history to light. over the past centuries hundreds of akiyama just half a minute he inspected the holy city inch by inch yes. the difference is less. but professor but leaves he can still uncover new facts. tehran mount zion he hopes to learn more about how people live centuries ago. the reason mccool and that you always have here we are at the center much that is to say the old city center and we can distinguish four strata here and see how people lived in four distinct periods and this is a rare opportunity because the old city is completely built over otherwise if i can just go and ask someone to tear down. their house so i can see what's beneath it
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from centuries ago and that's why these excavations on mount zion are so special. that. for millennia jerusalem has drawn countless generations to the holy mountain . the city is a treasure trove for historians and archaeologists. today it is a divided city hotly contested in the big to israeli palestinian conflict it seems as though everyone in jerusalem has their own version of history and their own agenda jerusalem is holy to jews christians and muslims alike. think is the city has been a home away from home fifty to feed vega. he has been director
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general of the german protestant institute of archaeology since two thousand and five. in this country and in fact it's very important to explain a city's development in that and when people come to jerusalem they always think they're tracing the footsteps of jesus christ or king david or suleiman the magnificent and of course they think this is exactly where history took place this in through for increased to the last and you know it will say. you know who is lunch on the preselected memory and traditions say this was the via dolorosa not going to even if that's not historically correct and it will brahms think of it as such because they don't follow the actual historical route because it would take them through the jewish quarter and it's also completely inaccessible . by as pretty as you can get lies fourteen meters underground people believe there will still need to feed is not only. just protect the election under castro
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as well because in communist east germany and took theology that before studying archaeology and his background gives him unique insight into christianity scientists footsteps in how stupid it is the thing that might not make sense at first to somebody from central europe but there are sixty different christian denominations and no single one has a monopoly on we simply live our faith in different ways your christodoulou comes under the church of the holy settle receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year in to many it's the holiest christian sites in jerusalem tradition teaches that jesus was buried here and rose from the dead one man down the previously mentioned when i see how touched people are at the stone of the annoying time or at the grave moved almost to tears by just being there and i have to admit that although it's not the protestant form of piety i learned in central europe this is their faith is at least as profound before because of this and we've just received
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little hope of our going to far with these and they just express it in a different way. to you reminds us of our own people who this place can teach you a lesson about open mindedness or don't wonder are you sure in your forgiveness or good arsonists remark to say that somebody who doesn't pray quietly in a white washed church is not a christian would be absurd to. claim spiny is the new throw in church of the redeemer and most of the german and arab speaking protestant community in jerusalem. the german kinds of vilhelm the second built the church over the ruins of the old crusader headquarters and personally came to jerusalem for its consecration. a group of academics from germany showing them around an academic exchange held every year. concert welcome to the church of the redeemer you've just been to the church of the holy supple core so you might think this church was built. during the crusades but it wasn't. obvious that. the church is
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built on ground that is fourteen meters high and in the days of herod. like the rings of a tree each layout reveals how the city has grown since. fi vega spent two years making underneath the church. covered goes back over two thousand years and is now open to visitors in the archaeological park. here's the model this is the wall and here's the entrance to the market. but not for constantine or any of the nobility. or causal process that this is the servants' entrance where goods were delivered. as current take on mount zion is also investigating the city's historical development one month each summer the cost is revealed to me if i lay on the ground is measured and cleaned or traveled back
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as archaeologists say who finds it jerusalem is a very complicated construct this is like every ancient city in the middle east it's a tell a mound of occupation debris the ruins of the old the city lie at the very bottom but a new city is built on top of it. then enemies come and destroy it and earthquake commerce and yet another city is built on top of that one in time this forms layers in which you can find one city built atop the next from different periods. these tells of what captivate feet they get academic curiosity and passion like peeling back the layers of an onion each surface reveals something new. jerusalem grew from south to north towards the south this is city gate presumably the gate of the scenes of jewish sex that flourished at the time of jesus the nazis for the gate hinge is a well preserved right behind inside the city walls was the residential area.
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archaeologists continuously unearth new discoveries of four thousand year old st for instance. professor and his team are not the first to explore this site. in eight hundred ninety three british army offices we're here investigating the byzantine city walls to do so they don't tunnels through other historical city lay as which they later filled again. but sadly their approach to screw it what would have been valuable evidence for others to find today archaeologists are more careful even the smallest of finds is recorded and documented. and we archaeologists destroy things but it's also our responsibility to document everything we excavate. each item is measured sketched photographed and published
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in our plans of course the newer layers don't stand much of a chance i'm interested in prehistory and early history so we want to reach the older layers the question is whether i respect the early layers whether i document and publish what i find that determines everything. on the really pretty if i'm obsessed with one period say the iron age and the beginnings of the kingdom of israel and i take away everything else i'm being an idealogue. whether in a cemetery or anywhere else in jerusalem archaeology always has a political dimension in the holy city a city whose status is still heavily contested internationally. dita fever always has to keep the current political context in mind. here we are standing on israeli territory or from my fifty meters farther is occupied territory i'm not allowed to dig there. east jerusalem with its
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predominantly palestinian population was occupied by israel in the six day war of one nine hundred sixty seven and annexed in one nine hundred eighty a territorial claim the international community has refused to recognize. the neighborhood so one is home to mostly palestinian families and to the city of david archeological site right below the old city walls. it's run in part by jewish settlers who have made their homes on the edge of the park and lay claim to this part of the city. controversial to say the least. is the eternal and undivided capital city. this is where david settled. the conquered the city and made it the center of the whole kingdom of today and
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israel. that's why they consider this their spiritual home that's why israeli settlers stay here. but it's difficult to understand because it goes beyond history as we see it. really here part of what else would settlers be doing on an archaeological site there are. jewish settlers use archaeology to support their reading of jerusalem as history and their claim is to the whole of the city to feel it's important to stay mindful of the current political situation wherever he is excavating. high up on the mount of olives on the offices of the german protestant institute of archaeology it was founded in one thousand nine hundred by the german protestant community with support from kaiser vilhelm the second. the. situ founding charter states that its mission is to explore the holy land and its diverse past cultures and religions whatever they learned should then not only be
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made accessible to experts for debate but also to the general public that is why widely different groups regularly come to visit as a few people. who were scorned for a long time as a kind of religious discipline that aim to prove the bible was historically correct for my part i would define biblical archaeology as a science that uses the bible as its main source but that said relatives are to sort through under snow for abundant proof to here in the early twentieth century german academics were eager to play a role in researching the holy lands cultural history month. leading colonial nations britain france and the united states already at work. the institute has many keep sakes from its early days including these old models by conrad schick that german architect from the make nineteenth century. professor feed bega has particular respect for the institute's found and first direct
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a lutheran theologian stuff down. to me he's a role model because we've had similar lives. he was from a very pious community in saxony where people had all the answers to the bible before you could even ask a question. everything had to be taken very literally and nothing could be questioned. emancipated himself from that stuff and german scholars pioneered modern biblical studies but back then it was still in its infancy and questioning the bible was not taken lightly a small museum in the basement documents the early days of the institute down in couldn't take in the holy land but was still intrigued by how people lived in the time of jesus. he began to collect things what flowers existed back that are how did people build their houses how would jesus have spoken aramaic at the time.
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he thought a lot about how the things we read in the bible today could be understood in their historical context so worked with. old measuring instruments maps sun drawings documents institute's first steps. if we're right next door is where findings from his excavations on mount zion are recorded and counts along. with. his wife is also an archaeologist and would explain the institute. so the couple of share a passion for early history. and consistent items are identified by comparing them with known facts. but a handful of shots is not enough. often several thousand needed to identify a find with any degree of certainty. before going to give. it
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takes a lot of effort to achieve results and you need an eye for the little things. which were not so interested in the shards themselves as in what people did with the objects we're interested in what the objects tell us about life these are going to come up with if you want to reconstruct their life you have to develop an enthusiasm for these many dead things and enjoy finding out about their past. that's one of the most. once a year thieving again leaves his sunny workplace in jerusalem to spend a university term involved in western germany. the city is best known for its suspended monorail which dates back to nine hundred one. at the time it was a state of the art sensation. t.v.
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again now teaches in western germany but he grew up in the formerly communist east . and they were going to go back then i wanted to study mathematics but i wasn't even allowed to go to university. the german protestant church offered me a safety net by letting me finish school there. the degree wasn't worth much but it let me stay in school for another two years. during those two years and it occurred to me that i could work for the church too. i have never regretted it and i decided i wanted to become a pastor and i did i lived as a pastor and my main topic was faith should set you free. in east germany's former freedom was a sensitive subject freethinking a worse yet free speech could be dangerous. once a maverick always a maverick you can never change that and it's been very useful to me it gave me the
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opportunity to get a much better education so that i was equipped for life when the communist regime collapsed at thirty one i was able to go out into the world. he was then teaching theology at the humble. what moving to vote was in that same average day i was a professor in berlin but in theology. but if i was going to teach the ology i wanted to know what i was talking about and really understand how things were in biblical times it was there so i decided to study archaeology i made the request but they wouldn't let me. so i told the head of faculty i'm going to start applying at different universities and i'm moving to the first university that will also let me study archaeology and that was so here i am you've been here. a short distance from full potential is the private witan had to university the institution has a decidedly holistic approach to education professor this course is a track students of medicine philosophy political science and economics. yes
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we're going to talk about a state that did something historic it's the first arab state to make peace with israel we'll talk about the peace treaty and what the situation is today but first it's over to you. today the students are discussing one of the most important unsuccessful peace agreements of recent history the peace treaty between israel and egypt. where we are going to my friend i said i would like to know whether you think it was right to give all three politicians the nobel peace prize. nobel prize. how many of you think that was good. for this can always come up for us and then that i think of a fever vegas thinking out of the box tell us is a very popular. business and. nowadays lots of people look to the future or worry about today.
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i think the past is also very important and i need to get more people excited about it. if i succeed i'll be followed by lots of new fellow researchers and if not i will remain alone in archaeology will die out. so there aren't many of us left in germany. just as in jerusalem his office here is half exhibition hall and tough reception lamp. his main focus is on early history archaeology but the current middle east conflict also preoccupies him. crime a political creature i can't just go to palestine israel jordan or syria we were often in syria until it was close to us in two thousand and eleven and ignore the political situation. i once had a long discussion with chancellor merkel she asked me about the peace process and i said there isn't any peace there's just an absence of war she couldn't believe it
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and i couldn't believe that she couldn't believe it we talked about it for a long time and then i decided i had to write it down. about what if i was wrong. i had to research more about the topic and so i wrote a book it's an issue that really concerns me. his latest most popular book is about the israeli palestinian conflict and has been reprinted several times another one of his passions is writing books for children and young adults in the hope of getting them interested in history one of his books has been translated into arabic . when spring comes around again returns to the middle east this time to the jordanian capital amman the german protestant institute of archaeology has another research center here. is visiting the georgian archaeological museum in the citadel high school students have come to a reading from his book about the tells. the past he paints
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a picture of the archaeological mounds that contain the secrets of history wants to inspire the following generations. classroom to stand with us on the bus or of course it has to do with the fact that i used to be a pastor and taught children. to fruition but i worked with the st thomas choir of leipzig here and i've always tried to express things in simple terms that children and teenagers can understand i want to pass my interest on to them in to us here at . the museum opened in one thousand nine hundred fifty one and contains incredible artifacts from prehistory to the fifteenth century a german research foundation helps a museum catalog it stretches. you to hasan manages a project for the protection of cultural assets in am and some of these perfectly preserved clay figure is a more than eight and a half thousand years old and we're. still.
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we have super pieces here that are truly unique they were discovered in jordan so they should be shown here. they need to be protected so they aren't sold on the next time there's unrest. or destroyed by people who view them as something godly and don't want them in this world. these are sent. on to northwest jordan to visit the excavation house by gadara archaeological sites museums have always been the target of plundering. this and the illegal trade in antiquities threaten cultural assets the current wars in syria iraq yemen and other middle eastern countries have resulted in vast numbers of archaeological treasures being destroyed stolen or lost. finds every day attitudes about the past concerning. that's why he's delighted by every small archaeological find.
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you can see here this is typical for ceramics of the iron age. to form. through car makers when you smash ceramics you can see their properties in the fracture. of the clay mixture was entirely different in the roman and byzantine periods. these few fragments here are not criminal. the crime is that the whole settlement was bulldozed or at least this part of the edge of a settlement and nobody cares. and nobody can save the remains because we're all busy with other things. not every site can be excavated in recent she is jordan has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the
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war in neighboring syria and iraq the refugee crisis is more urgent. while many ancient sites have yet to be explored other archaeological sites are famous tourist attraction in this like the ancient city of daraa some one hundred kilometers north of amman it's a popular destination for jordanians and foreigners in the greco-roman era the city was a cultural hub. from here you can see the sea of galilee in northern israel next to it the israeli occupied golan heights on the syrian border the war is not far away every year few vegas spend several weeks in jordan to him it's just as relevant as jerusalem. because a good friend of mine used to say if you need to excavate in jerusalem nobody sees what happens here and it's true most people aren't paying attention to jordan. but
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for archaeologists this is a tremendously important region with a very ancient culture this site is much older than jerusalem it was always much larger than jerusalem in the bronze and iron ages so excavating here is nothing in significant even if it isn't necessarily grabbing media attention that's not really our job here or. the excavation site is in the greater area of y d l r rab that's the region along the ancient train route that used to run from the mediterranean through palestine to syria and iraq in this area alone has taken part in eighteen separate dick so far it's a long term project that will also keep future generations busy. more than five thousand years of human history buried him. it's almost as if they were here just yesterday. it's a great privilege to be able to live and work here i'm very grateful that i was able to come here and be given
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a job here i have the wonderful projects that i was allowed to choose myself this tell is a site that i discovered myself one that i thought important enough to excavate. it has more than repaid my investment i'm not unhappy here on the contrary it has become my life. thank. you.
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