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Jerusalem’s Buried History

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0151
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$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
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Andrew Lawler (Photo: Samir Alsharif)

No other city evokes as much emotion and provokes as much violence as Jerusalem. But how did the famous City of Peace become so contested? Much of the answer lies underground. For more than a century and a half, treasure hunters, clerics, and archaeologists have sought to uncover remains of Jerusalem's biblical past—from the Ark of the Covenant to the site of Jesus's crucifixion. This effort, linked to the expansion of European empires as well as an intense desire to corroborate scripture, proved an essential ingredient in the controversy that continues to roil the Middle East and the world.

The story of Jerusalem is the tale of how science, politics, and religion meet in its shadowy subterranean spaces. Journalist Andrew Lawler traces that buried history as he discusses the early explorers who navigated sewage-filled passages; follows the European, American, and Israeli archaeologists who made stunning discoveries beneath the city; and explores how these finds became essential elements in the battle to control the Holy City.

Lawler’s new book Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City (Penguin Random House) is available for purchase.

Book Sale Information

  • Purchase your copy of Under Jerusalem by Andrew Lawler here.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 (no space between letters and numbers) in the “Coupon discount” section on Politics and Prose's check-out page.

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.