|A similar ditch in Austria|
A chance archaeological discovery made during earthworks in the area of Brunswick, Germany, is generating heated debate in theological circles. Construction workers were preparing the earth to lay foundations for a new apartment block when the ground fell away revealing, in the words of the foreman, “an ugly great ditch”. Archaeologists and philosophers were quickly brought in to examine the hole. While they are still awaiting the results from soil tests, most agree that it is indeed the ditch written about by Gotthold Lessing in his 1777 essay.
When the workers noticed the ditch, the foreman put a stop to all work until experts could examine it. “It’s not the first time we’ve made a philosophical discovery during earthworks. On a previous job a bloke came across the pillow that Kant used during his dogmatic slumbers.”
Others, however, are sceptical about the significance of the ditch. Ava Klein, a lawyer representing the construction firm building the apartments, released a statement criticising the decision to halt work to examine the controversial pit: “There is no reason why the reports of the appearance of this ditch should compel us to accept the truth of its historical or philosophical significance.”
A tutor of religion at a local seminary, Jules Roth, believes that the discovery is of great importance for theologians and philosophers. “This beautiful and massive fissure in the ground is a godsend. It’s true that it is difficult to see what’s on the other side from here, but the ditch itself is quite magnificent and should keep the academic community occupied for many years to come.”