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Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Volkmar Fritz

Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft. 

Founded In 1898 and charged with conducting excavations in the ancient Near East, the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft (DOG) carried out numerous projects under their direction of such noted archaeologists as Robert Koldewey, Walter Andrae, and Rudolf Borchardt. These include Babylon (1899–1917), Aššur (1902–1913), Jericho (1908/09), Abu Sir (1902–1907), Amarna (1911–1914), Boğazköy (since 1906), Uruk-Warka (beginning In 1912/13), and at many other sites. This period of active fieldwork came to end with World War I, but some of the research was later continued in cooperation with the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archaeological Institute). The necessary funds were contributed by the more than one thousand members of the DOG, the German emperor, and the government of Prussia.

The DOG's most important sponsor was James Simon, a Jewish merchant from Berlin, who donated the finds from Amarna to the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. Publication of the excavation results began In 1900 with a new series, Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft, edited by the secretary of the society. More than fifty volumes appeared between 1901 and 1936, when Bruno Güterbock held the office. After 1933, the society lost most of its members; In 1949, it was restituted and Andrae was elected president. Publication of the rich harvest from DOG's early excavations continued with thirty volumes of the Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen and a new series, Abhandlungen, was established.

Independent fieldwork began again In 1968, with excavations at Habuba Kabira and Munbaqa in Syria, under the presidency of Ernst Heinrich. This work continues, as does publication of the results and the finds from earlier projects. Of special significance is the rich material from Aššur housed in the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin, which is in an advanced stage of preparation for publication. Recent papers appear in the periodical Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft. Today the society has about eight hundred members and is actively engaged in scholarly work concerning the ancient Near East, with an emphasis on Mesopotamia and northern Syria.

[See also the biographies of Andrae and Koldewey.]


Nagel, Wolfram. “Die Deutsche Orientgesellschaft: Rückblick 1976.Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orientgesellschaft108 (1976): 53–71.Find this resource:

    Schuler, Einar von. “Siebzig Jahre Deutsche Orientgesellschaft.Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orientgesellschaft100 (1968): 6–21.Find this resource:

      Volkmar Fritz