Doctor Josef Vestand is a german professor of Archeology who holds the premier position in the Archeology Department at the University of Berlin. He made his name at a very early age, uncovering three separate archeological treasure hordes before the age of 30.
In 1934, he oversaw the excavation of Tall al-ʿAjjul in Gaza. This excavation uncovered a horde of ancient gold. One of his primary assistants at the site was Hans “Oliver” Erich Merbach. When the Mesha Stele was unearthed, he along with all the other members of the expedition disappeared, only Marbach seemed to survive.
In 1936, it was discovered that Verstand has also survived the event. He found himself in Rome and made contact with his old associate Oliver Marbach at that time.