Full Version: Christian lead books discovered
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Jordan battles to regain 'priceless' Christian relics

There are a lot of different angles to this story: a fascinating discovery in regards to ancient Roman history, black market antiquities, repatriation of national treasures, and at least one other thing: the artefacts themselves.

Does anyone know of any other books made of lead? I know that lead "curse scrolls" are fairly commonly found, but I've never heard of an actual lead codex before. I had thought they were exclusively used for cursing or to communicate with the gods of the underworld. Were there any lead tablets found in Vindolanda for mundane messages?
Excavated Greek ephesia grammata were made of lead, only this one is out of gold. But I have never heard of a lead book yet.

It is reassuring that the archaeologists are aware of how little they still know about this piece.*irony* Calling it "maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology" and "the major discovery of Christian history" without a decipherment, not mention a sound dating, sounds certainly like a sober analysis.
BTW: the story about the lead book is almost certainly a hoax (more...).
A shame, but not really a surprise. I think my love of ancient history began at a very young age when I read a book on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I've always wanted to see another discovery of such magnitude.
The problem with this find is that it is highly suspicious. It looks fake, it smells fake and it probably is fake. At least the story about the Christian found in a cave and look in a certain light the face on the books has a thorned crown part.....

Based on an article in the Times Literary Supplement, it seems a fake. Peter Thonemann was asked to examine the Greek text on one.
"the three lines of Greek all turned out to be variants of the same two puzzling phrases "...without grief, farewell! Agar, also known as Eision....".....half an hours work in the library turned up the two phrases in their original context; a perfectly ordinary Roman tombstone from Madaba in Jordan, datable 108/9 and currently on display in the Archeologiclal Museum in Amman. .......Now, if you were looking for a plausible-looking sequence of letters in an ancient language , you coukd do worse than to pop into the British Museum , pick a stone , and copy the letter shapes."

"the forgers repertoire is fairly predictable; pseudo Christian symbols copied from ancient Greek and Judean coins ...interspersed with gibberish inscriptions clumsily adapted from real ancient texts , Greek and Hebrew."

He informed the man at the centre, David Elkington, who had contacted him originally to look at the Greek inscriptions, but strangely, seems to have been omitted from the press releases.....
(TLS, April 8, 2011)
It is said that Saint Augustine's first volume was written on lead. Unfortunatly, he dropped it on his toe. While recuperating in a comfy chair, he came up with the brilliant idea of Original Sin-- which was writing a lead book. In Napoli there was an entire library consiting of 17,834 lead volumes, but the weight of it caused the libary to slide in the sea. Jacques Cousteau found 2.5 tons of the original volumes and sold them to a Tunisian black-market dealer named Rico, making enough "heavy cash" to build the Calypso.