Tag Archives: Lead Codices?

Jordan Codices: Another Stamp Identified – Marcus Ambiblius’ Prutah

(HT to Tom Verenna)

The “weeping  palm” icon was hand-copied very much like the helmet motif on Herod The Great’s 8-Prutot Piece (scroll down to the animated gif), only from a poor example.

This motif is only found in one other piece in antiquity, and that is on the coins of Coponius, who was Ambiblius’ predecessor (6-9 AD) with slight variation.

I was able to find a good example of a worn specimen that illustrates exactly how similar these illustrations are.

Taking everything into account (as this motif is found on plates that contain repeated, stamped text as well), this yet another strong evidence of forgery/fakery as the iconography on the Codices continues to betray itself as a pastiche of disparate eras, crudely copied en-masse.


Jordan Codices: More About the Altered Metallurgical Report

So you may be aware about how the informal group of Bibliobloggers who are putting the Jordan Codices and surrounding circumstances under the microscope recently uncovered that one of the metallurgical reports was tampered with on the Jordan Codices Facebook page. (For background, see Tom Verenna’s video and Dan McClellan’s post about the debacle thusfar.)

In this post, I’d like to go over what was originally stated in parts of that report with some ambiguous language clarified by the researcher who wrote it, Dr. Peter Northover, himself (of whom I am deeply grateful for taking his time to correspond with me).

When I first contacted Dr. Northover (whose late first wife, I found out, was Alison Northover, a highly respected librarian whose legacy for professional development is held today in memory by a prestigious award; it’s a small world for us librarians it seems) back in late August before this was reported in the biblioblogs, I brought to his attention that his report was manipulated by the administrator of the Facebook group and quoted it for him.

I also asked him if he was familiar with David Elkington and what exactly he meant by calling the codices “not a recent production” (as that was a phrase that is emphasized by a number of the Codices’ supporters).

He, at first, replied rather surprisingly that he did not know who David Elkington was and that he did not recognize the report I quoted. Although he immediately emailed me back while I was drafting my reply, saying that he was able to recall the report after thinking hard about it because, “the first stretch of text was so edited [he] didn’t recognise it at all.” (And frankly, I cannot blame him.)

He told me:

“I have only seen two of the codices and only one of them open and that just contained inscriptions. The trace element pattern of the lead was consistent with anciently produced lead, although there is so much of that around that it is easy to get some to re-use. […] I understand there are some copper ones, which are a much better target for authenticity [studies], which may be why I have not seen them.”

And when he got to my question about his choice of words, he revealed:

“My own use of the phrase ‘not a recent production’ implied that the piece I examined in detail had not been made in the last few years, or possibly decades, but I could not rule out a date of, say, a century ago or so.”

This struck me as a very different timetable vis-à-vis the claims the Codices’ supporters were touting. Ambiguity with, in hindsight, less than sufficient context is something that is easily preyed upon, and that ambiguous language plus a few carefully made edits was able to turn a good portion of the report’s original concerns around.

He then revealed that Robert Feather (one of the earliest individuals associated with the Codices in the media) and an unnamed journalistic partner were the individuals who had commissioned the report. At my request he tried to give me an introduction to Feather via email and contacted him at the very beginning of September.

Despite Feather telling Dr. Northover in reply that he would contact me shortly, it has been two weeks and I haven’t heard from him (however, I have conversed with Northover several times in that period). Yesterday I decided to try and be bold and reach out to Feather, so I sent him an email explaining who I was and that I had hoped he would contact me back.

As of writing this article, I still have not heard from him; however, I still sincerely hope that will change.


NOTE: Out of respect, I have withheld quoting Dr. Northover’s emails in entirety until I have obtained explicit permission to do so; however, I took great care not to quote him out of context as it would be a great insult to the kindness he has shown to me in taking the time to explain his words. The reason I did this is because we discussed a number of things (don’t get any ideas either, this isn’t anything scandalous 🙂 ) that I do not believe he would like posted all over the Internet.

Visualizing the Lead Codices

When trying to explain the rather disjoint collection of stamped scripts and iconography that are found on the faces of the Jordan Lead Codices, I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words. As such, I have put together the following visualization which I believe can express to the average person (who is not familiar with the requisite linguistic and iconographic features) “what scholars see” when they look at the codices by using more familiar imagery.

Click to enlarge it, and 50 points to whoever identifies where all the component parts come from.

The level of difficulty for each piece increases from top to bottom, so stay sharp! 🙂


Jordan Lead Codices: The Video

Tom Verenna with his limitless and bountiful zeal has taken the time to painstakingly compile a video that outlines the current evidences against the authenticity of the Jordan Lead Codices.

This video comprises a good chunk of the collaborative research and discussion between Jim DaVilla, Dan McClellan, Jim West, David Meadows, Joel Watts, James McGrath, Tom and myself that has been going on for the past few months. Tom’s efforts in making this video should be commended. 🙂

Also of note, this video was censored at least a half a dozen times from the Jordan Codices Facebook page, and for screenshots of that (as well as other censored comments made by an archaeologist) take a peek at Dan McClellan’s latest post.

In a bit, I’ll have another post that actually goes over some clarifications that have been made to one of the metallurgical reports by the researcher who compiled it.