Beneath the most contested city in the world lies a subterranean landscape of tombs, tunnels, and trenches that has drawn fortune seekers, missionaries, archaeologists, and zealots to the Holy City, all eager to extract the biblical past from below the surface.
In his new book, Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City, acclaimed journalist and author Andrew Lawler brings these characters to life and discusses the profound effects of their efforts.
According to Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services at the Center for Jewish History, “The motivations of those digging below the surface of Jerusalem have been extremely varied over the last century and a half, as have the motivations of those trying to prevent those same explorations. Andew Lawler does a great job of illuminating Jerusalem through the history of its archaeology, making a complicated and fascinating tale accessible to a general audience.”
On Wednesday, December 8th at 6:30pm the Center for Jewish History will live stream an interview with Lawler. Using unpublished photographs from National Geographic, he will discuss how the 150-year quest to unearth the city’s biblical history has not only led to remarkable discoveries, but also contributed to riots and bloodshed. And yet while the colorful array of excavators has helped spawn Zionism, create the state of Israel, and ultimately define the conflict over modern Jerusalem, their struggles to control this contested place may also provide a map for two peoples and three faiths to peacefully coexist.
This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.