Friday, April 1, 2011

More Rounds Fired in the Battle Over the Metal "Codices" Discovered in Israel

Prior post

This has all the makings of a long, drawn out war, with no holds barred to ruin reputations of archaeologists and competing experts. Rather pathetic.  Will we ever know the truth?  When did truth become a casualty in the battle of egos and ideology? 

Note the source of this story - Deseret News, part of the Deserte conglomerate, out of Salt Lake City, Utah.  For those of you not so familiar - Salt Lake City, Utah is the home of the Mormon religious conglomerate.

Earlier this month, The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), dismissed the books as a forgery and as being a "mixture of incompatible periods and styles … without any connection or logic. Such forged motifs can be found in their thousands in the antiquities markets of Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East."

Ancient metal plates found in Middle East
Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011 3:26 p.m. MDT
JERUSALEM — A discovery in the Middle East of more than 20 ancient lead plate "books" — each with five to 15 pages — is being hailed by some as one of the most important religious discoveries of the past. Others are calling it ridiculous.

Image from The Mail Online, 30 March 2011. Notice the
eight-pointed 'rosette' - an echo of the imagery
of the Goddess Inanna c. 4000 BCE.  Is this a sign that
the image is actually real?
The director of the country of Jordan's Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, told BBC that the books might have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion. "They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls," Saad said. "It seems that we are looking at a very important and significant discovery, maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology."

Jeff Chadwick, a practicing field archeologist who is in Israel as BYU's Jerusalem Center Professor of Archeology and Near Eastern studies thinks it is a silly story. "Almost everybody is getting wrong. I couldn't believe that Fox News picked it up," he said. "This is not going to pass the smell test in the end run."

One of the sticking points is the origin of the plates.

The first story, related by the BBC, is that a Jordanian Bedouin spotted them after a flash flood exposed part of a cave. This happened about five years ago. Then, another Bedouin smuggled them into Israel. This does not make the Jordanian government happy and they want them back.

The second story is from the Israeli Bedouin who now has the books. The Jewish Chronicle Online identified the Bedouin as "Hassan Saeda, from the northern Israeli village of Um-al-Ghanam." Saeda said they have been in his family for a century — found by his great-grandfather in a cave in Jordan.

The ancient Goddess' symbol "Tree of Life"
masquerading as early Christian symbol of the
crucifix.  Note the eight "rays" of light springing
out of the top of the crucifix - symbols of
enlightenment - called the "Holy Spirit" in
the Bible (in some translations, "Sophia.")
David Elkington, an author and archeology enthusiast, appears to be the main person pushing the recent interest in the plates, according to a report on BBC radio. He told BBC that the small business-card-sized books are judged to be Christian because of their covers. He said there are symbols and signs that could be interpreted by early Christians as representing Jesus. Those symbols are next to other symbols that represent the presence of God.

There is also a representation of a seven-branched menorah, which Elkington told BBC that Jews were forbidden to represent.

If this all wasn't enough, he said there is also a map of ancient Jerusalem. It has a cross on it next to what appears to be a small building with an open door — possibly representing the open tomb of Jesus.

Rest of article.

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