Emmanuel Christian Seminary professor of Old Testament and Semitic studies Christopher Rollston was recently awarded the prestigious Frank Moore Cross Award by the American Schools of Oriental Research for 2011.
Rollston received the award in November for his 2010 book, “Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel: Epigraphic Evidence from the Iron Age,” a work that provides a broader picture of ancient Israel through the study of inscriptions from surrounding cultures, such as Moab, Ammon and Edom.
The Frank Moore Cross Award is presented annually to the author of the most substantial volume related to ancient Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean epigraphy, text and tradition. The American Schools of Oriental Research is a society that has focused on the archaeology and epigraphy of the ancient Near East.
The award is one of the top awards within the field of epigraphy, a field to which Rollston has devoted much of his career.
Rollston is one of the leading scholars in the field of Northwest Semitic epigraphy and palaeography. He works in more than a dozen ancient and modern languages, including Phonecian, Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek, and has written a number of articles in various publications.
“Epigraphy has sort of been where I have been living for quite a long time. I’ve tried to publish a lot in that field, and so to have the award was the culmination of many years of hard work,” Rollston said.
The commendation that accompanied the award states Rollston’s volume “is a welcome and long-needed contribution to the field of Northwest Semitic Epigraphy and Palaeography.
“In the short time since the volume’s publication, it has become essential reading for students, scholars and anyone interested in the question of writing and reading in the ancient Near East. This book richly deserves this year’s Frank Moore Cross Award,” the commendation read.
Frank Cross is one the leading epigraphers in the United States and has been Rollston’s mentor for a number of years, so receiving the award held a deeper meaning for Rollston.
“Since this award was named for him, I was really pleased and honored to have received it. It was in many ways a marvelous experience,” he said.