Dr. Rollston may be contacted at his office at (423) 426-2023. If you would like to contact Dr. Rollston via email, submit a comment here and be sure to include a functional email address. Thank you.

30 Comments to “Contact”

  1. Dr. Rollston,
    Your articles on NW Semitic Epigraphy are excellent. I am taking the course at Johns Hopkins with Dr. McCarter and Heather Parker, one of your former students. The question I have for you is: when is the book An Eye for Form will be available from Eisenbrauns?

  2. Dr Rollston,

    I read your blog with great interest. In 20008-2009 Foundation Stone was involved with this excavation and helped publicize the findings. We continue to use this find as an educational tool and the input of scholars is most important to us.

    Have you seen the IAA- HU publication with four interpretations of the ostracon?

    Have you seen the range of hi-tech images, which I understand Prof Garfinkel posted on his Qeiyafa HU site?

    I ask because Dr Misgav stresses that the phrase “al ta’as” is the key to identifying it as Hebrew, not any of the phrases enumerated.

    I look forward to the favor of your response.


    Barnea Levi Selavan

  3. Thanks for the note, Barnea. Yes,I have seen the publication (several of the authors sent me their contributions). As for the high tech images…yes, I have seen them, although I’d like to get very high resolution versions of them…which is probably not a problem…I talked to Yossi Garfinkel at the ASOR meetings for a few moments. Still, as Bruce Zuckerman has noted, in terms of the most useful photos released to date, it is the infra reds that are the best. More could arguably be done with this ostracon (especially with some of WSR’s methods). As for “al ta’as….” I have refined that statement on my initial post…suffice it to say that I’d like to see some pretty definitive linguistic isoglosses in an inscription before declaring it to be certaily “Old Hebrew” (or certainly “Phoenician” for that matter). Thanks again for your comments and it’s great to hear of your support of this superb excavation. Sincerely, Chris Rollston

  4. subscribe


  5. Ram Kossowsky, Ph.D

    Prof. Rollson: May I, please receive by email a copy of your presentation at ASOR 2010, Text and or PPT.?


  6. Dear prof. Rollston
    is your paper dealing with the the Qeiyafa Ostracon (announced here: Reflections on the Qeiyafa Ostracon) published? if yes could you give me a reference? I thank you very much in advance

  7. Christopher Davey

    Dear Professor Rollston,
    I appreciated your tribute to Anson Rainey. I have written a short tribute to him to be published in Buried History. I need a good resolution image of him and wondered if you would be able to supply me with one or whether you could direct me to someone who could. With thanks
    Christopher Davey

  8. Dear Professor Rollston,

    I am worked under the guidance of Prof. J. Naveh at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.My researches concern Old Aramaic epigraphy of Georgia. This year, in October was published my Georgian translation of the “Development of the Aramaic Script”, with a short preface of Prof. Naveh, my introduction, comments and Addenda (196 p.). I am happy that Prof. Naveh could see this translation in November.
    May I send the book for your Institute?
    Dr. Giunashvili

    • Yes, I would be delighted to receive it. Thank you. Postal Address: Dr. Christopher Rollston, One Walker Drive, Johnson City, TN 37601. USA.

  9. Hi, Dr. Rollston–
    I would like to email you a comparison to the Jonah ossuary inscription that may be of interest. Looking forward to hearing from you!
    –Lee in Staten Island, NY

  10. west has photos for you

  11. Hello Frank, I double-checked the image. No, the third image on page thirty-three is not reversed or upside down. All best wishes, Christopher Rollston

  12. Dr. Rollston,

    I know this is very late considering the article was written a few months ago regarding the tombs and specifically the section on the James Ossuary. You said that matching Patina does not definitively place the James Ossuary in Talpiot A. Since proponents of the tomb use the Patina evidence for the James Ossuary as a main argument for the validity of the tomb, what about the use of patina studies makes the claim invalid?

  13. Hello Prof. Rollston, I very much enjoy your blog and your work in the feild of biblical studies. Anyway I was meaning to ask you about a point you made in an earlier blog post. You were responding to the claims of Tabor and among one of your responses you said you would explain how the patina of the ossuraries [by which you mean the James and the Talpoit] sharing similar chemical compounds does not necessarily prove that they originated from the same cave. I found many other of your points convincing though I still remain curious as to what you mean by this.
    Thank you very much for lending me your time and I wish you the best of luck in life.

  14. Dear Prof. Rollston,
    I am reading your book “Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel”, and while I was able to find translations and transliterations for most of the Byblos inscriptions that you mention, I am not able to find a translation and transliteration of the Azarbaal inscription. Can you please recommend a resource for this?

    Many thanks,
    Marcel Katz

  15. Dear Sir,
    I think that in your piece on the Cyrus Cylinder, you are underestimating the literary nature of the text; very much of it is a quotation of earlier Assyrian texts (note the postscript referring to Assurbanipal) and for the return of gods and exiles are Assyrian antecedents. I can send you a lengthy article from a forthcoming Festschrift, but I hope you can send me your mail address.

    Jona Lendering

  16. Chris, Thanks for finally telling your story. Many of us have lived with knowing only a little of what was going on “at the advice of lawyers” for too long. I’m sorry I was not one of those who showed up at your door when things were darkest, but I wish you the best as new doors open for you in the years to come.

  17. Dr. Rollston,
    Thinking of you and picturing you thoroughly enjoying the work in Jerusalem…

  18. Dear Colleagues:

    I would like to share with you, as past participants in the conference on Orality and Literacy or those who have already expressed an interest, the announcement below (and attached) of Orality and Literacy XI, to take place in Atlanta, GA, September 17-21, 2014. We hope the theme will prove both stimulating and capacious, and we would love to welcome you to Atlanta.

    Please feel free to share it individually with anyone you like. Given the rush of the holidays, I plan to put this out as a public call for papers early in January (and therefore, especially for the North American audience, after the APA/AIA meetings are over as well).

    I also welcome any immediate questions or comments; I am travelling a bit for now but should be able to get back to you without too much delay.

    With warmest wishes for the holidays and all the best for 2014,

    Niall Slater

    Niall W. Slater

    Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Latin and Greek Emory University

    office (404) 727-0110

    messages (404) 727-7592

    fax (404) 727-0223

    Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World XI

    Orality and Literacy: Voice and Voices

    Call for Papers

    The Department of Classics and the Program in Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Emory University invites all classicists, historians, and scholars with an interest in oral cultures to participate in the Eleventh Conference on Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World, to take place in Atlanta, GA, September 17-21, 2014.

    The conference will follow the same format as the previous ten conferences, held in Hobart (1994), Durban (1996), Wellington (1998), Columbia, Missouri (2000), Melbourne (2002), Winnipeg (2004), Auckland (2006), Nijmegen (2008), Canberra (2010), and Ann Arbor, Michigan (2012). It is planned that selected refereed proceedings once again be published by E.J. Brill as Volume 11 in the Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World series (anticipated for 2016).

    Location: The Emory Conference Center, Atlanta, GA (USA)

    Dates: Wednesday 17 Sept. (registration) to Sunday 21 Sept. 2014

    Theme: Voice and Voices

    Keynote speaker: Professor Elizabeth Minchin (Classics, Australian National University), “Voice and Voices: The Oral Traditional Poet and the Stewardship of Memory”

    The theme for the conference is “Voice and Voices,” and papers in response to this theme are invited on topics related to the ancient Mediterranean world or, for comparative purposes, other areas. Also welcome are papers that engage with the transition from an oral to a literate society, or which consider the topic of reception.

    Accommodations will be available at the Emory Conference Center as well as other local options; further details of other activities will be circulated in February 2014.

    Abstracts of 250 words should be sent by 31 March 2014 by mail or email as Word attachments to:

    Niall W. Slater

    Department of Classics

    221F Candler Library

    550 Asbury Circle

    Emory University

    Atlanta, GA 30322-1006 USA

  19. Dear Chris Rollston,

    I came browsed about three articles last night that announced new discoveries (relatively new by now) of inscriptions in Pompeiopolis, which is in Turkey I presume. None of the articles made mention of the language in which those inscriptions were written in. Can you tell me anything about those inscriptions at Pompeiopolis or anything the language in which ANY of the inscriptions at Pompeiopolis were written in?

    I have a relatively hot interest for inscriptions in the Roman era and within the Roman Empire.

    Thank you if you could take some time for me.


    Mike Karoules

    USA, State of Georgia

  20. Congrats on the GW job.

    • Thank you very much, Father Mills. I continue to appreciate deeply your kind words of support during the fall of 2012. I am teaching at Tel Aviv University this semester (spring ’14), but will return to Johnson City prior to making the move to DC. I would welcome the privilege of being able to have lunch together. Please feel free to send a note if you would be available in late June or early July. With all best wishes and kind regards, Chris.

  21. Figured as much. Many thanks for taking the time to respond. It seemed a bit to convoluted to be true but this is not my field.

  22. I suspected as much. Too many complex things all having to align perfectly for him to be on target. Thanks.


    Dear Chris
    I have just stumbled on your response, and I realise that you were giving an immediate reaction without having time to ponder fully over my suggestion, but I think that if we want to be scientific within our discipline, we should not simply state the current paradigm, when a new paradigm is proposed, but repeat the experiment and see whether we get the same results. Certainly, Frank Cross (BASOR 238)treated the variant stances in the inscriptions as arbitrary, on the way to standardisation (which we all seem to agree was Phoenicization); but he did not countenance the possibility that the variants were deliberate.

    I did not attach my provisional (rough) table of the neo-syllabary, but in each of the texts I have considered there are apparently no more than three forms for each letter, and the ones I have put on the -i column (tested by my readings of the texts, which are startling) are the ones that appear on the standardised consonantary. And we have to take account of the older Phoenician-style inscriptions from 16C Mesopotamia (see my note 15).

    I am working on it further here:



  24. A question. I am teaching the summer unit at Tusculum in OT/NT and am trying to persuade my students that writing, particularly in Judah, if we trust epigraphic finds does not really become common until the late 8th/early 7th century. The prophets are not my thing so in reading Isaiah of Jerusalem I have now noticed two mentions of writing, one by a child. Is this simply a later layer of Isaiah?

  25. Prof Rollston,

    It has been a pleasure to see you in the halls of Tel Aviv university, and we look forward to seeing you in San Diego. Please send us an email with your schedule there?

    With best wishes,


  26. Chris
    I was alerted to this through AGADE. It is good to have your response to these signets, and your comments are very pertinent. I clapped my hands when I saw your nwh. conclusion.
    Recently, when I was talking to a group about ancient printing I invoked the Phaistos Disc; and for an example of a seal, I referred to Judah and Tamar (Genesis 39:18), but I presume you were giving things that could have historical probability.
    The royal signet ring of Megiddo is an unrecognised treasure; I take it to be a confirmation of Mendenhall’s system for reading West Semitic syllabic texts: Sealed, the sceptre of Megiddo.
    Thanks for your support in my case against Orly Goldwasser in Antiguo Oriente 12; I cited you as pointing out that the evidence she offers seems to prove the opposite. It is more likely that Khebded gave them the alphabet than the other way round; and we may even have the name of the inventor of the alphabet here!
    On the neo-syllabary in Iron Age I, my work in progress is here (on the pages for Izbet Sartah and Qeiyafa ostraca):


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