The German Protestant Institute for Archaeology of the Holy Land, located in Jerusalem, was founded In 1900 by Germany's Protestant churches and has been sponsored by them ever since. The first director, Gustaf Dalman (1902–1917), initiated a wide range of activities—his own major fields having been the ethnography of Palestine, tombs in the vicinity of Jerusalem, and Petra. During the British Mandate, Albrecht Alt was appointed director; Alt did not actually reside in Jerusalem but, conducted the famous summer courses about aspects of his research in historical geography in the country. The institute was closed during World War II but was reopened by Martin Noth In 1964. After Noth's untimely death In 1968, Ute Lux served as director until 1982. Lux excavated at Gadara (Umm Qeis). A branch of the institute was founded in Amman In 1973. The institute in Jerusalem was directed, from 1982 until 1992, by August Strobel, who undertook several excavation projects in Jordan. Volkmar Fritz, appointed director In 1994, is continuing the tradition of geographic research and archaeological projects.

From the beginning, the work of the institute was handicapped by the lack of its own building. Then, In 1982, a house in the compound of the German Augusta Victoria Compound on Mt. Scopus was made available as the institute's center. A board of trustees representing German churches and theological faculties is responsible for its budget and staffing.

Between 1905 and 1941, the institute published a yearbook, Palästina Jahrbuch, founded by Dalman and later edited by Alt. In 1989, Strobel revived it as the Jahrbuch des Deutschen Evangelischen Instituts für Altertumswissenschaft des Heilingen Landes. Articles on the activities of the institute also appear in the Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins (ZDPV).

[See also Historical Geography; Jerusalem; Petra; Umm Qeis; and the biographies of Alt, Dalman, and Noth.]

Volkmar Fritz