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  • Alfalene Vardaman Morse, whose late husband E. Jerry Vardaman was the first to excavate Machaerus in 1968, recently met Christopher Rollston, a George Washington University professor and one of the world’s leading experts on ancient Semitic languages and scripts, so that Rollston could take temporary possession of 19 ostraca to study the ancient pottery fragments and translate their inscriptions. Morse and Rollston met at MSU’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology, where Jerry Vardaman became founding director in 1972.
    Photo by Megan Bean
    Alfalene Vardaman Morse, whose late husband E. Jerry Vardaman was the first to excavate Machaerus in 1968, recently met Christopher Rollston, a George Washington University professor and one of the world’s leading experts on ancient Semitic languages and scripts, so that Rollston could take temporary possession of 19 ostraca to study the ancient pottery fragments and translate their inscriptions. Morse and Rollston met at MSU’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology, where Jerry Vardaman became founding director in 1972.
  • Christopher Rollston, an epigrapher and George Washington University professor who is one of the world’s leading experts on ancient Semitic languages and scripts, holds one of 19 ostraca, some of the most significant Machaerus artifacts from the E. Jerry Vardaman collection. Vardaman was the founding director of Mississippi State’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology. In addition to analyzing and translating the ostraca, Rollston is arranging high quality spectral photography of each piece.
    Photo by Megan Bean
    Christopher Rollston, an epigrapher and George Washington University professor who is one of the world’s leading experts on ancient Semitic languages and scripts, holds one of 19 ostraca, some of the most significant Machaerus artifacts from the E. Jerry Vardaman collection. Vardaman was the founding director of Mississippi State’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology. In addition to analyzing and translating the ostraca, Rollston is arranging high quality spectral photography of each piece.
  • From left, independent scholar and visiting researcher Marylinda Govaars, looks over artifacts from the E. Jerry Vardaman collection from Machaerus—an ancient site where John the Baptist was martyred—along with Alfalene Vardaman Morse, the late professor’s wife who accompanied him to the site, and James W. “Jimmy” Hardin, associate professor and interim director of MSU’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology.
    Photo by Megan Bean
    From left, independent scholar and visiting researcher Marylinda Govaars, looks over artifacts from the E. Jerry Vardaman collection from Machaerus—an ancient site where John the Baptist was martyred—along with Alfalene Vardaman Morse, the late professor’s wife who accompanied him to the site, and James W. “Jimmy” Hardin, associate professor and interim director of MSU’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology.
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