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This section seeks to outline the evidences uncovered against the Codices' authenticity in a rough timeline.

The Initial Find

On 3 March 2011, Robert Feather went public with a news interview (courtesy of the Jewish Chronicle) about the discovery of 20 metal books (codices). Feather had commissioned the Oxford metallurgical report, and the testing was done under his guidance (with Peter Northover). Feather dated the find to the second century CE, during the Bar Kochba period. The article states that the Bedouin—Hassan Saeda—who gave the find to Feather, had been given these codices by his grandfather who found them in a cave on the Israeli-Jordan border.

Discrepancies in Early Reports

Fresh news stories appeared over the course of four weeks following the original story given by Feather and the Jewish Chronicle. On 20 March 2011, the Sunday Times published an article, followed the next day by the Daily Mail, and within a week over a dozen stories started circulating from other journalists. In an effort to capitalize on Feather’s report, David Elkington and his wife Jennifer—new players that were not mentioned by Feather, but who seem to have been behind the find—were interviewed about the codices and their dating. They also produced press releases. A number of discrepancies were discovered between the reports, but a few stand out as the most important:

  • Quantity: Feather reported around 20 codices; the press releases from the Elkingtons and other news reports which interviewed the Elkingtons say there are 70 or more.
  • Provenance: Feather was told, and the Jewish Chronicle reported, that these codices were inherited by Hassan Saeda by his great-grandfather, who had found them in a cave on the Israeli-Jordan border. However other reports state that Saeda told Peter Thonemann that his father had found them in Egypt. Philip Davies is under the impression that these codices were found only two years ago by Saeda. The BBC reported that a flash flood had exposed a cave in 2005 or 2007, and that a Jordanian Bedouin had found them during this period. One of the press releases provided by the Elkingtons state that the codices were discovered 5 years ago by “wandering Bedouin shepherds” in a cave in a militarized zone in Northern Jordan.
  • Metallurgical Testing: The news reports seem to confuse the details about the situation regarding the metallurgical tests. Feather reports that he led the testing and that it was at his behest. However one reports claims Hassan Saeda had been behind the testing, while another report claims that the Elkingtons were behind it.

Greek Out Of Context

It was not soon thereafter that Dr. Peter Thonemann of Wadham College, University of Oxford shared some correspondence that he had between David Elkington the previous year. Elkington had shared some images from a copper codex that had some Greek text that was lifted from a funerary inscription that has been on display for the past 50 years in a museum in Amman, Jordan. This discovery provided conclusive evidence that the piece was a modern forgery.

Please see the Copied Inscriptions section under Visualizations while we finish writing this section up.

Coin Iconography

Strong coin iconography from disparate periods was found among the inscriptions of the codices. Several scholars in numismatics and Bibliobloggers were able to identify other coin impressions, with dates that range from 350 BC to modern tourist trinkets found in Turkey.

Please see the Coins section under Visualizations while we finish writing this section up.

Repeated "Babble-Text"

A series of identical gibberish text stamps that were impressed into the molds used to cast the codices that are arranged in such a way to make it look as if there is more text than there really is. The text in this array, it was found, gave no effort to carry any intelligible content or meaning.

Please see the Repeated Text section under Visualizations while we finish writing this section up.

Identical Motifs

Furthermore, it was not just coins and text stamps, but entire sections of the plates were reproduced in different arrays much like a pastiche.

Please see the Identical Motifs section under Visualizations while we finish writing this section up.

Facebook Censorship

A Facebook page was quietly set up in support of the Jordan Codices. After a small exchange between several individuals critical of their authenticity and the administrator of the group, any comments that were ambiguously against the authenticity of the Codices were deleted and their owners banned from participation.

Please see the Censorship section under Misinformation & Censorship while we finish writing this section up.

Manipulated Metallurgical Reports

One of the metallurical reports posted to the Facebook group was found to have been altered by the administrator to remove unfavorable comments made by the researcher against an old date.

Please see the Manipulated Reports section under Misinformation & Censorship while we finish writing this section up.


We are currently writing up the rest of this page. In the meantime, feel free to check out the Visualizations section which outlines much of what will be discussed here with multimedia.

The Biblioblog Reference Library © 2011.
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