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Antiquities agency chief says Jordan Codices fake

Jamhawi accuses British researcher of disseminating false information

By JT - Mar 09,2017 - Last updated at Mar 09,2017

AMMAN — The Department of Antiquities (DoA) on Thursday announced that the lead codices it seized with the help of security authorities around seven years ago have not been proven to be authentic so far, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

DoA Director General Monther Jamhawi said that a national team of researchers and specialists scanned the area of the alleged cave where the codices were allegedly found but did not find any relevance between the codices and the cave, particularly as no cavities in the cave’s walls were found.

The department described the findings of British scientist David Elkington as baseless, stressing that the cave was not found and the pictures he has have nothing to do with the cave that was visited, which indicates that his insistence on the originality of the codices is groundless and not credible. 

Jamhawi said that modern technology can be used to create confusion since it can use old materials and draw on it to make almost unrecognisable fake antiquities.

Thus, the DoA said all the talk in Elkington's recent lectures on the issue is not accurate or objective, Jamhawi said, noting that the scientist’s visit to Jordan and addressing the issue without permission is "a clear violation" of regulations. 

The DoA chief called for taking information from authorities, noting that the DoA would inform the public of solid data about their national heritage as long as they were proven authentic. 

"The Jordan Codices are the earliest Christian documents ever discovered, dating back to the time when Jesus Christ was still alive in 30AD; whereas the Dead Sea Scrolls date back to 75AD," according to a video published on the "Jordan Heritage" Facebook page and shared by Elkington's official page "Jordan Codices". 

Speaking in the video, published on March 3 this year, David and Jennifer Elkington say that the Jordan Heritage, a no-for-profit local company, has invited them to Jordan to talk about the codices. 

They say the codices show that Jesus and the first Christians lived in Jordan, adding that “since 2008”, a series of tests were conducted at 15 independent labs around the world, whose results all showed that the codices date to the time Christ was alive. 

“Tests performed at University of Surrey’s Ion Beam Centre last year demonstrated complete absence of radioactivity,” the video said, indicating that the codices’ age is authentic and goes back to 2,000 years. 

In December of 2016, a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times by the Ion Beam Centre (IBC), supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said that new evidence was found of the authenticity of the country’s lead codices.

 

Comprising upwards of 70 ring-bound books made entirely of lead, the codices were found in a remote valley in northern Jordan between 2005-2007, with evidence to suggest that they date back to the 1st or 2nd century AD. Linguistic analysts have claimed that they are the only Hebrew-Christian documents, challenging the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered mid-century in the caves of Jordan Valley.

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