Thursday, June 30, 2011

Germany: Colloquium on Cologne Jewish Quarter and Synagogue Excavation Results

Cologne, Germany. Detail from early phase of synagogue excavation. Photo: Samuel Gruber (2007).

Cologne, Germany. Medieval mikveh, looking up towards superstructure. Photo: Samuel Gruber (2007).

Germany: Colloquium on Cologne Jewish Quarter and Synagogue Excavation Results
by Samuel D. Gruber

I am very excited to be attending next weeks colloquium in Cologne, Germany, where the results of the recent and extensive excavations of the town hall square will be presented and discussed in detail. I first visited the excavation of the medieval synagogue in 2007 and most recently reported on the remarkable finds from this dig earlier this spring. I am thankful to the City of Cologne for inviting me to attend and participate. Together with the recent excavations in Lorca, Spain, the Cologne excavation is probably the more important work of "Jewish archaeology" of the past decade. Even though the site had been partially excavated in the 1950s, the finds really present an entirely new picture of Jewish history and community in Cologne.

I plan on writing some detailed articles from this meeting after the work is fully presented. In the meantime, here is the working schedule of the event.

Cologne, Germany. Hypothetical reconstruction of facade of ancient synagogue by Sven Schütte, published before recent excavations. Will now surely be modified,


Colloquium July 6th/7th 2011
Cologne, Historisches Rathaus, Spanischer Bau, Ratssaal

Simultaneous translation in ENGLISH available for the whole congress!

For first Information please visit the English version [press „en“ ]
of our Website:

WEDNESDAY 6.7.2011

8.30 am Opening of Congress office - Spanish Building, Court
9.00 am Welcome
Jürgen Roters, Lord Mayor of the City of Cologne
Introduction into the Subject
Prof. Georg Quander, Head of the Department of Culture


9.30 – 12.00 am
Sven Schütte, The Area in Antiquity
Marko Hocke, An Roman Architectural Model
Christos Vangelzikis, The Roman Thermal and their walls with stamped bricks
Marianne Gechter, the Written Sources from Antiquity to Middle Ages
Sven Schütte/Marianne Gechter, the Question of Continuity
Discussion / Moderation: Ulrich Klein

12.00 – 13.30 Lunch break (Opportunity to visit the Excavations)


13.30 – 17.30 pm
Marianne Gechter, Written Sources of the Medieval Jewish Community in Cologne
Sven Schütte, The Medieval Area around the Town Hall and it’s Phases
Ulrike Nusch-Schikowski, The different tiled floors of the Synagogue

15.00 pm – 15.30 pm Coffee break
Hubert Berke, Kosher Cuisine and Auerochses – The Archaeozoological research
Sven Schütte, The Infrastructure of the Jewish Quarter
Marianne Gechter, Written Sources for the Topography until 1349
Katja Kliemann, The Ashes of the Pogrom 1349 and their distribution in the Jewish Quarter
(Opportunity to visit the Excavations until 18.30 pm)

19.00 Evening Lecture , Historisches Rathaus, Hansasaal
Ernst Baltrusch, Constantine The Great and the Rescript of 321. Antijewish Predjudice or Religious Tolerance?

THURSDAY 7.7.2011


9.00am – 12.00 noon
Michael Wiehen, Latest Research on the Cologne Mikveh
Katja Kliemann, Ceramics and Stratigraphy – an overview
Elisabeth Hollender, The Epigraphic Finds from the Cologne Synagogue from 1349
Elisabeth Hollender, An Oldjiddish Text from the Cologne Synagogue

Discussion / Moderation: Johannes Heil

10.00am – 10.30 Coffee break

Marianne Gechter, The written Sources 1349 – 1424
Sven Schütte, The medieval Town hall and the Town Councils Chapel
Marianne Gechter, The written sources fort the Cologne Goldsmith’s Quarter
Sven Schütte, Cologne Goldsmith’s Quarter and its buildings
Sven Schütte, An Imperial Earring of the 10th century

Discussion / Moderation: Norbert Nussbaum

12.00 – 13.30 Conclusion /Perspectives
Sven Schütte, Colonia Archaeologica – Archaeological Zone and Jewish Museum – The Concept of the new Museum

Max Polonovski, A Future for the Past? Colognes Jewish Heritage in the 21st century –
Conclusion Discussion / Moderation: Johannes Heil

For Contact please do not hesitate to contact MARTINA HEMMERLING
0049 221 221 33422

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