Cologne excavations reveal rich Jewish history

For years, archaeologists have concentrated on Roman excavations in western Germany, largely ignoring its medieval past, especially when it came to Jewish history. Now the discovery of over 250,000 artifacts in Cologne, is revealing new insights into "one of Europe's oldest and biggest Jewish communities."

"Excavations show that the Jews in Cologne for a very long time were on good terms with the Christians, that their cohabitation saw long phases of peace and harmony," said archaeologist Sven Schuette. Much of the information has come from inscribed slates, "aspects of daily life from the Middle Ages which have intriguingly come to light via school children's teachings, rules and regulations, a bawdy knight's tale and even a bakery's customer list."