A team of world-renowned geophysicists is coming to Warsaw at the invitation of the WGM

Geophysicists from the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at Hartford University in Connecticut will search for traces of the past at the Bersohn and Bauman Children’s Hospital

On 19 July, archaeologists will conduct research on the premises of the Bersohn and Bauman Children’s Hospital at 60 Sienna Street, where in 2023 the Warsaw Ghetto Museum is planning to open a permanent exhibition. The leader of the team – who will not come to Poland after all – is Prof. Richard Freund, archaeologist, monument researcher, Professor of Jewish History of Christopher Newport University in Virginia – previously associated with the University of Hartford in Connecticut for many years.

The scientists use a non-invasive method of archaeological research – ground penetration radars and Electrical resistivity tomography. The former signals that something lurks under the surface. Tomography, on the other hand, identifies the type of material which is buried there.

The team from Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies under the leadership of Professor Richard Freund of the University of Hartford in Connecticut has so far implemented six archaeological projects in Israel and three in Europe, including in Bethsaida, Qumran, Nazareth, Yavne, on Har Karkom mountain in the Negev desert, as well as in Burgos and Cadiz in Spain.

Prof. Freund is the author of six books on archeology, two in the field of Jewish ethics, over a hundred scientific articles and fifteen documentary television films.

He is probably best known for leading an international group of archaeologists, scientists, and historians who had been searching for the lost Atlantis. The expedition was filmed by National Geographic TV channel, and its course was broadcast entitled “Atlantis Rising.”

Prof. Freund’s team also discovered six stone anchors in southern Spain. They may date back to the Bronze Age.

Among those who are coming to Poland, is, among others, Paul Bauman, who has over thirty years of experience in geophysical research, including natural resources, tunnels, detection of unexploded ordnance, industrial waste, and the discovery of ancient burials. Bauman participated, among others in research at the former extermination camp in Sobibor and in Vilnius’ Ponary [Paneriai], where thanks to electrical resistivity tomography it was possible to establish the location of the tunnel that was excavated by the prisoners of the Nazi German concentration camp of Stutthof who had been brought to Sobibor by the Germans. These prisoners had the task of digging and burning the corpses of victims of mass executions – to blur the traces of the German crime. Eleven people survived thanks to the tunnel. “The tunnel was 34 meters long, we knew from previous studies where its beginning was located, but we did not know where it was leading further. We found this place and the exit point,” said Jon Seligman from the Antiquities Authority. The scientists, using non-invasive methods, also found one of the execution pits and the way to the place of execution. This path is still visible in the woods today. About one hundred thousand people died in Ponary [Paneriai] in the years 1941-44, including 72 thousand Jews and 1.5-2 thousand Poles.

Paul Bauman is also known for his participation in the making of archaeological documentary films including “Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land”, produced by Nova Films, “Deadly Deception at Sobibor”, and “Finding Atlantis” made for the National Geographic channel.

Kama Pawlicka, Anna Kilian