Antiquities authorities have this year claimed that the collection of codices found in a cave in Jordan and first publicised in 2011 are forgeries. Richard Galustian maintains the contrary and gives his evidence.
Academics Jennifer and David Elkington have had to face attempts to discredit a discovery that has put their lives at risk. This is no exaggeration.
A team employed by an Israeli individual or organization is clearly intent on this discovery not seeing the light of day, since it changes Judaism’s view of its origins in a more profound way than it impacts the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, also affecting Islam’s history to an extent.
Evidence of this misinformation campaign is in short supply. However, a recent interesting example of the sabotage involves a computer technician who tried to manipulate the Jordan Codices Wikipedia page on the data put forth from the University of Surrey’s Ion Beam Centre.
What was surprising was that, literally within minutes of the genuine scientific updates, the data was instantly removed.
A member of the University of Surrey consequently looked into the Wikipedia history – made available as part of its transparency ethos – to see who has been editing the page. Intrigued, he tried steadily for hours to update the information, which was reverted back with speed by someone using the pseudonym “Makeandtoss”.
“Makeandtoss” has virtually made a 24/7 career out of suppressing any factual information on the codices ever since David Elkington’s life was threatened when he was held hostage in Jordan last March, in an attempt to ‘silence’ him from speaking about the codices in his capacity as academic advisor to the University of Surrey with regards to the codices.
This was a direct response to the factual data put forward by the Elkingtons to Jordanians last February and March via television, radio and news outlets – on the results from the University of Surrey’s Ion Beam Centre tests on a codex on loan to the Elkingtons for testing in the UK from the Jordanian Department of Antiquities (DoA) in Amman in 2011.
The intrigue continues. The current director of the Department of Antiquities, Munther Jamhawi, has fervently denied that any of the codices are authentic, including the one tested at the highly reputable Ion Beam Centre by Director Prof Roger Webb and his colleague Prof Chris Jeynes. He also denies that the DoA ever had any codices. An untruth. Who pressurised him to deny the authenticity?
Inconveniently for him, apart from the Elkingtons, there are also several credible witnesses within the DoA to the fat that there were, as far back as 2011, 24 codices housed within the department. Some had already been tested both at the Royal Scientific Society and the Atomic Energy Commission with positive results.
So why is “Makeandtoss” trying to discredit this amazing discovery? “Makeandtoss” says that the inscription is modern and that the codices are therefore fraudulent. This fallacy is a lie; it was not only addressed in a press release issued by the IBC and reported on, but is explained in detail in the videoclip on the Jordan Codices Facebook page.
Webb says the alpha particle testing can only date lead that is up to 150 years old. However, he goes on to explain this does not mean that the lead is not older, which he believes it to be, and backs the corrosion analysis of Mathew Hood Matthew Hood BEng, MSc, CEng, FRINA, MAPM, CDipAF, MIET, RCNC who has thoroughly analysed the crystalline growth on the lead, which in his opinion would take at least 1800-2000 years to form.
Hood also stated quite categorically that there is no way that lead in this state could be either resmelted or recently inscribed – it is far to fragile and it would have broken the lead into pieces. Moreover, the crystalline growth is formed over the inscription. Manufacturing this form of crystallisation is highly unlikely and would cost a monumental amount of money.
Moreover, ‘Makeandtoss’, whomever or whatever he is, states that the IAA – Israeli Antiquities Authority – believe the codices to be fake – well, they would wouldn’t they?
In an official letter, signed by Amir Ganor, Manager of the Antique Robbery Prevention Unit, he states that the IAA has no interest in the ‘artefacts’ – so why did they bother allocating funds to test them?
A report from SDEMA – a rather mysterious private Israeli investigative service – acknowledges that the codices were smuggled out of Jordan and makes references to some of them being confiscated at the Jordanian-Israeli border. The fact that Hebrew-Christian documents have been found in Jordan is political dynamite for many reasons, so of course the IAA is not going to support their authenticity.
On the contrary, they have claimed they are fake without having tested them. The Department of Antiquities has also taken this tack.
Testing lead using state-of-the-art technology is a very expensive business, the DoA simply do not have the budget. Nor do they have the inclination, as most of the twenty-three codices viewed in 2011 have since disappeared or been mislaid.
Testing of other codices found in the Middle East and brought to the Elkington’s attention have continued in secret to analyze their findings with assistance of other academics and scientists and maybe in the future new evidence will be globally released that will prove beyond doubt the authenticity of other codices.
Richard Galustian is a British political and security adviser based in Malta (Middle East and North Africa region) for nearly 40 years.