Evidence that Lead Codices (Books) May Be Fake

Jim Davila at PaleoJudaica received an email from a colleague that sheds remarkable light on the “discovery” of the ancient Christian-linked lead books.

In a nutshell, David Elkington (the same guy who’s hawking the lead codices) requested translation help last Fall from Dr. Peter Thonemann for a metal codice that he claimed was part of a collection discovered in northern Egypt. Analysis showed the Greek text had been copied from an ancient tombstone on display in a museum in Amman, Jordan. The copier/inscriber apparently did not know Greek since the text was lifted from the middle of its context and made little sense, and since the alphas and lambdas were rendered identically to each other. (Oops.)

Dr. Thonemann’s conclusion:

The only possible explanation is that the text on the bronze tablet was copied directly from the inscription in the museum at Amman by someone who did not understand the meaning of the text of the inscription, but was simply looking for a plausible-looking sequence of Greek letters to copy.  He copied that sequence three times, in each case mixing up the letters alpha and lambda.

This particular bronze tablet is, therefore, a modern forgery, produced in Jordan within the last fifty years.  I would stake my career on it.

See the PaleoJudaica post here. There are good photos of the forgery text and plates. They appear similar to the ones from “Jordan” being discussed right now that also originate from Mr. David Elkington.

Is it fair to say that one set of forged metal codices casts doubt on the others being promoted by the same individual?

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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6 Responses to Evidence that Lead Codices (Books) May Be Fake

  1. Ilan says:

    The Books were orginally “discovered ” by a Bedouin from Shibli who worked with Hassan Saida. He bought them from a Jordanian Taxi Driver he was friendly with. Later the two Bedouins Paid vast sums of money to Elkington and Feather and the like to get the works authenticated. During this time not one of them tried to hand the works to any authority. On the contrary they obtained an export license under false pretences. ( the books already being in Europe) When a dead end was reached and not willing to hand over more money to the publicity seeking Elkington the Bedouins stopped all contact and hence his own campaign ” to do the right thing started” He was NEVER THREATENED! just IGNORED
    many serious far more discreet scholars have seen the works and the real finder and owner is more than happy to supply photos free of charge and to be interviewed.
    There is NO secret or conspiracy
    The books ( and there are not 70!) are made of ancient metal and what is of interest more than content is the fact they ARE ONE OF THE FIRST BOOKS TO BE PRINTE

    • lukechandler says:

      Thank you for your post. One big problem with the books/codices comes out in your explanation. Where exactly did they come from? That explanation is crucial, and yet no one can provide a satisfactory answer. The books themselves appear to be cast from molds. The books contain text copied verbatim from a funerary marker on display in an Amman museum, and at least one of the impressions looks to have been made with a popular “fake” ancient coin for sale in Istanbul tourist shops. Specialist bloggers have pointed out other serious problems with these books. Several posts on my blog summarize and link to their analyses.
      Some people connected to the books may honestly believe they are ancient and authentic. That should be no surprise since any forgery is made with the intent to deceive. When people in control prevent specialists from personally analyzing the objects, it increases the likelihood of deception and (rightly) brings suspicion on the objects and on (some of ) their handlers, such as the Elkingtons.

      • ilan says:

        My comments come from the fact we own the books!
        yep we are the bedouins in question. we have agreed to make a documentary on our discovery / purchase and are more than happy for the truth to be known

        all we know to date is metal is over 2000 years old
        we paid elkington and his cronies to come over and take photos etc but prior to that have paid many other scholars for help!

      • ilan says:

        My comments come from the fact we own the books!
        yep we are the bedouins in question. we have agreed to make a documentary on our discovery / purchase and are more than happy for the truth to be known

  2. ilan says:

    We also paid many specialists to analyse the books but no one was conclusive- every one who ” got their hands on them’; just wanted to serve their own interest
    we have been working quietly on this for years but even as we are not english and white the british library turned us away

  3. ilan says:

    when you see the documentary and the truth comes out you will see as bedouins we often travel and also buy and trade. NO ONE SET OUT to deceive us. it all started from an innocent purchase of items with the menorah on. NO one knew we would make contact with the west and they not us would hide the items for years whilst they drummed up speculation and wrote their books
    we have announced our intention to make a film at this years Cannes Film Festival in association with Aphra Productions. If indeed the items prove to be of interest they will be made available to all

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