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The German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (GPIA), Research Unit of the German Archaeological Institute, founded in 1900 is one of the most important biblical archaeological institutes in the Near East. Its German name is Deutsches Evangelisches Institut für Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes.
The German Protestant Institute of Archaeology, Research Unit of the German Archaeological Institute, operates in two locations – Jerusalem and Amman. Its high reputation as cultural institution, help desk, and meeting place for European scholars makes it a sought-after partner for cooperation between German and international organizations and projects. The GPIA is a foundation administered by the German Protestant Church. At the same time, it serves as a research unit of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and receives financial support from the German Foreign Ministry.
- Institute Jerusalem,
Director-General: Professor Dr. Dr. Dieter Vieweger
Address: Auguste-Victoria-Compound, P.O.Box 18 463, Jerusalem 91184
- Archaeological library, archaeological museum
- Institute Amman,
Director: Dr. Jutta Häser
Address: P.O.Box 183, Amman 11118, Jordan
- Archaeological library, archaeological collection
The GPIA engages in the scientific study of the Holy Land on both sides of the Jordan River and disseminates the most recent knowledge about the archaeology and culture of this region to the broad public. The primary aims of the institute and important elements of the German cultural activities are the yearly study courses, the promotion of young scholars, the realization of the institute’s own archaeological projects as well as the support of the Protestant congregation at both locations. This fosters close relations with the cultural institutions in the host countries.
Tall Zira'a and the Gadara Region Project
Together with the Biblical Archaeological Institute in Wuppertal, the GPIA conducts the "Gadara Region Project"(2001-2015) in the Wadi al-'Arab, south of Umm Qais. The central archaeological site of the Wadi el-'Arab is the Tall Zira'a. There is hardly an area of Palestine where its history can be studied in such a concentrated manner as in the Wadi al-'Arab. This deep valley, which lies roughly five kilometres south-west of the ancient Decapolis city of Gadara (today Umm Qais), is, in many ways, an archaeological bonanza due to the variety in what it has to offer. A number of springs, fertile soils and a moderate climate all provide for excellent living conditions, and the most imposing hill in the valley, Tall Zira'a, possesses its own artesian spring and the very best potential for settlement. In addition, an important trade route ran through the wadi which once linked Egypt with Mesopotamia. The economic success and industriousness of the wadi's inhabitants have left plenty of traces over the millennia. Over one hundred sites mark out the distinguished history of human settlement in the region from the advent of sedentism to the Islamic period. Settlements, canals, water mills, cisterns, oil presses, wine presses, watch towers, graves and, above all, Tall Zira'a with its over 5000 years of settlement activity.
Ute Wagner-Lux - Madaba / Jerusalem / Gadara, August Strobel - Kallirrhoë (En ez-Zara), Gunnar Lehmann; Martin Peilstöcker – Plain of Akko, Volkmar Fritz - Tell el-Oreme, Hans-Dieter Bienert; Dieter Vieweger - Esh-Shallaf near Irbid, Hans-Dieter Bienert; Dieter Vieweger; Roland Lamprichs - Baja near Petra, Roland Lamprichs – Tall Johfieh, Michael Heinzelmann - Hippos.
The GPIA was founded on June 19, 1900 by the Deutsche Evangelische Kirchenkonferenz in Eisenach in order to "maintain, further and regulate the relations between the holy places of biblical history, on the one hand, and between the scientific inquiry and the interests of the Christian faith of the Protestant Church, on the other, in the fields of biblical and ecclesiastical archaeology."
Gustaf Dalman – then Professor of Old Testament and Judaic Studies at the University of Leipzig – was appointed first director and built up the Jerusalem institute. The changed situation after the Six Day War in June 1967 necessitated the establishment of the Amman institute. In 1982, the institute in Jerusalem moved to new buildings at the Auguste-Victoria-Compound on the Mount of Olives.
- Page of the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology, Research Unit of the German Archaeological Institute
- Page of the children's book The Mystery of the Tall