Veteran archaeologist and associate professor Jimmy Hardin has been named the new director of the Cobb Institute of Archaeology, Mississippi State’s College of Arts and Sciences announced.
Specializing in the Bronze and Iron Age cultures of ancient Syria-Palestine, Hardin has served as interim director of the Cobb Institute since 2019 and has more than two decades of experience at MSU.
“The mission of MSU’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology is to support research and outreach endeavors related to the Middle East and to Native Americans of the American South. As an expert in Middle Eastern archaeology and as a close observer of Mississippi archaeology, Dr. Hardin is perfectly positioned to lead the Cobb Institute,” said Rick Travis, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, noting Hardin and the institute offer substantial research and study abroad opportunities.
Hardin plans to continue his active field research project in southern Israel while also continuing the institute’s “long tradition” of training MSU students — as well as others — in archaeological survey and field excavations in the Middle East.
Hardin serves on the board of directors for the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, America’s second oldest overseas research center, and was recognized by the Mississippi Humanities Council as Teacher of the Year in 2013.
Hardin earned his Ph.D. and master’s degree, both in Near Eastern archaeology, from the University of Arizona. He received his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from MSU.
The Cobb Institute, a research and service unit of the College of Arts and Sciences, was founded in 1971 to promote archaeological research and education at MSU. It is home to the Lois Dowdle Cobb Museum of Archaeology.