Category Archives: JORDAN

Almost 2,000 years old Ancient Metal books are the oldest written reference to Jesus Christ

Almost 2,000 years old Ancient Metal books are the oldest written reference to Jesus Christ

An ancient set of lead tablets showing the earliest portrait of Jesus Christ have proved to be around 2,000 years old, according to experts.

The metal ‘pages’, held together like a ring binder, were found in Jordan in around 2008 by an Jordanian Bedouin and make reference to Christ and his disciples.

The lead has been analysed and the words and symbols translated and experts say the tablets date from within a few years of Jesus’ ministry. And what they reveal could be enlightening not only for Christians, but also Jews and Muslims.

The tablets suggest that Christ was not starting his own religion, but restoring a thousand-year-old tradition from the time of King David. And the God he worshipped was both male and female.

Central to the books is the idea that Christ promoted worship in Solomon’s Temple where the very face of God was believed to be seen – and this is where the episode with the moneylenders in the Bible came from.

One of the books bears resemblance to how the Book of Revelations is described as it has seven seals. The books are known as codices – types of bound manuscripts distinct from scrolls – and among them is an image of Jesus himself.

Authors David and Jennifer Elkington have been campaigning since 2009 for the codices to be recognised and protected but say evangelical Christians are trying to brand them fakes.

The lead has been analysed and the words and symbols translated and experts say the tablets date from within a few years of Jesus’ ministry

They were apparently discovered by Hassan Saeda, an Israeli Bedouin, who according to some reports was given them by his grandfather, and by others that he discovered them in a flood.

The artefacts were found in a remote part of Jordan to which Christian refugees are known to have fled after the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD.

David Elkington, 54, of Gloucestershire, says he is now trying to prevent the codices from being sold on the black market.

In 2011 Elkington announced their discovery on BBC News and the world’s press followed it up.  But a number of scholars came forward to brand them fakes, most without ever seeing the codices.

Now tests conducted by Professor Roger Webb and Professor Chris Jeynes at the University of Surrey’s Nodus Laboratory at the Ion Beam Centre, confirm that the tablet is compatible with a comparative sample of ancient Roman lead unearthed from an excavation site in Dorset.

The experts said that the codex they tested ‘does not show the radioactivity arising from polonium that is typically seen in modern lead samples, indicating that the lead of the codex was smelted over one hundred years ago’.  They went onto explain how the testing suggests that the artefacts are indeed 2,000 years old.

‘While there may be variations in decay and corrosion that depend upon the environmental conditions in which the objects were stored or hidden, there is a strong underlying theme of decay from within the metal,’ said the researchers in a press statement.

‘It is oxidising and breaking down at atomic level to revert to its natural state.  ‘This is not witnessed in lead objects that are several centuries old and is not possible to produce by artificial acceleration.

‘This provides very strong evidence that the objects are of great age, consistent with the studies of the text and designs that suggest an age of around 2000 years’. 

The codex was leant to the Elkingtons by the Department of Antiquities in Amman for testing. Further crystallisation analysis indicates that the codex is likely to be between 1800-2000 years old.

The tablets suggest that Christ was not starting his own religion, but restoring a thousand-year-old tradition from the time of King David
The books are known as codices – types of bound manuscripts distinct from scrolls – and among them is an image of Jesus himself

Although Christ is referred to outside of the Gospels, for example by the Roman writer Tacitus, these would be the earliest and only Hebrew-Christian documents in existence – and linguistic and metallurgical analysis now suggests they are.

The tablets, bound together like ring binders suggest that Christ was not starting his own religion, but restoring a thousand-year-old tradition from the time of King David
Authors David and Jennifer Elkington have been campaigning since 2009 for the codices to be recognised and protected but say evangelical Christians are trying to brand them fakes

Analysis of the script by scholars has confirmed that the language of the codices is Paleo-Hebrew.  The codices are covered in eight-pointed stars, symbolic of the coming of the messiah, and they mention the name of Jesus.  They also contain the names of apostles James, Peter and John.

According to the Elkingtons the books suggest Christ was part of a Hebrew sect dating back 1,000 years to King David, who worshipped in the Temple of Solomon and believed in a male-female God.

In the Bible Jesus is referred to as a ‘tekton’ which is usually translated as ‘carpenter’ but actually means a skilled craftsman and could refer to the skill of producing such works in metal. 

In traditional Christian icons he is often shown carrying a sealed book – a codex. Mr Elkington said: ‘Jesus was seeking to restore the Temple.  ‘To put back that which had been lost in the reforms that came before his time. 

‘Dr Hugh Schonfield, one of the most eminent authorities ever to work on the Dead Sea Scrolls, predicted that a metal book would be found: as he recognized that one had been described in a scroll called The Damascus Document – a description that fits precisely one of the codices.  ‘His conclusion was that Christianity was based within the Hebrew Temple.

‘Dr Schonfield, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, also described himself as a Jewish-Christian, a view that he held because of his work on the scrolls.

‘A part of the older tradition of the Temple was the Divine Feminine – known to Christians as the Holy Spirit. Jesus had women involved in his ministry.

‘At the height of his ministry, the gospels tell us that Jesus challenged the moneychangers in the temple. ‘The codices appear to reveal what happened afterwards – a chapter missing from the gospels. 

‘It would appear that Christianity was founded upon what Jesus did in the temple: a place where many Jews believed God actually resided. Jesus went into the Temple to renew a covenant with God.’

If the codices are genuine, as the metal and writing suggests they are, they provide new insight into the life of Christ. 

While the codices do not contradict any of the established narrative they place greater emphasis on the physical temple, of the belief in the divine feminine and in Christ’s role in protecting a lineage of Hebrews rather than being the founder of his own movement.

Previously, many experts have been wary of confirming the authenticity of the codices. 

In 2011, two samples were sent to a laboratory in England where they were examined by Peter Northover, head of the materials science-based archaeology group.

The verdict was inconclusive without more tests, but he said the composition was ‘consistent with a range of ancient lead.’

However, Philip Davies, emeritus professor of biblical studies at Sheffield University was convinced the codices were genuine after studying one.

He has told colleagues privately that he believed the find is unlikely to have been forged, reported the Sunday Times.  

Desert Kites: Mysterious geoglyphs built thousands of years ago

Desert Kites: Mysterious geoglyphs built thousands of years ago

During the 1920s, pilots of the Royal Air Force who flew over the deserts of Israel, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, saw some strange line shapes scattered all over the area.

They named them “Desert Kites”. Seen from above the lines resembled flying kites. This was a new discovery for the western world, but the local Bedouin population already knew about them for thousands of years. The natives called them “Works of the Old Men”.

Desert Kites: Mysterious geoglyphs built thousands of years ago

Most of the kites are composed of two stone walls with variable thickness and height, that are wider at the beginning and get narrow at the end, forming a V shape.

The length of the walls is usually a few hundred meters, but can stretch up to a few kilometers The narrow opening at the end of the funnel leads to an enclosure or a pit.

The enclosures have many shapes and sizes: they can be circular, triangular or star-shaped and range from a few hundred square meters to more than ten hectares.

There are small stone cells with higher walls joined to the external part of the enclosure. They are circular or square in shape. Some kites have one cell, but their number can go up to several dozen.

Stone walls of a desert kite
Circle enclosures with cells on the outside
Desert kite in Wadi Eshel

It is commonly accepted that the stone kites were used for hunting, to gather the animals together, making them an easier prey. Few years ago, a team of archeologists found a big deposit of Persian gazelle bones dating from 4th millennium BC, from a site in northeastern Syria.

This provides a direct evidence that the kites were used for hunting gazelles in post-Neolithic times. The Kites, organized in chains that facing the same direction, lie along migration routes that ran from Syria to Saudi Arabia. This suggests that the people who created them had good knowledge of animal behavior.

The majority of kites were built between 4000 BC and 2000 BC, although some of the oldest structures are dated as far back as 8000 BC.

Desert kite in Wadi Eshel

However, recent access to high-resolution satellite images has revealed even more kites exist than previously believed. They are spread over a huge area that extends from the Arabian Peninsula to the Aral Sea.

This new discovery deepens the mystery of the “kites phenomenon”. Solving this puzzle (according to mainstream archeology) means finding the answer to some fundamental questions as animal economy, the disappearance of species, sustainable development and even the development of urbanism.

Satellite view of a desert kite in the Jordanian Harrat showing very long stone walls.

12,000-Year-Old Shaman Funeral Reflects Natufian-Period Changes

12,000-Year-Old Shaman Funeral Reflects Natufian-Period Changes

One of the earliest funeral banquets ever to be discovered reveals a preplanned, carefully constructed event that reflects social changes at the beginning of the transition to agriculture in the Natufian period.

Hebrew University archaeologists uncover 12,000 year old grave inside a cave in northern Israel

The woman was laid on a bed of specially selected materials, including gazelle horn cores, fragments of chalk, fresh clay, limestone blocks and sediment.

Tortoise shells were placed under and around her body, 86 in total. Sea shells, an eagle’s wing, a leopard’s pelvis, a forearm of a wild boar and even a human foot were placed on the body of the mysterious 1.5 meter-tall woman. Atop her body, a large stone was laid to seal the burial space.

It was not an ordinary funeral, said the Hebrew University archaeologist who discovered the grave in a cave site on the bank of the Hilazon river in the western Galilee region of northern Israel back in 2022.

Three other grave pits have been found at the site of Hilazon Tachtit since 1995, and most contained bones of several humans. Nevertheless, the unusual objects found inside the grave, measuring approximately 0.70 m x 1.00 m x 0.45 m, point to the uniqueness of the event and the woman at its center.

Eight years after the discovery, Prof. Leore Grosman from the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Prof. Natalie Munro from the University of Connecticut, have identified the sequence of events of the mysterious funeral ritual that took place 12,000 years ago.

Bones of a mysterious 1.5 metre-tall woman lay in burial site, surrounded by tortoise shells and other objects

“We’ve assigned the event to stages based on field notes, digitized maps, stones, architecture and artifact frequency distributions and concentrations,” said Prof. Grosman, adding that, “The high quality of preservation and recovery of a well-preserved grave of an unusual woman, probably a shaman, enabled the identification of six stages of a funerary ritual.”

The research, published in the journal Current Anthropology, details the order of the six-step sequence and its ritual and ideological importance for the people who enacted it.

It began with the excavation of an oval grave pit in the cave floor. Next, a layer of objects was cached between large stones, including seashells, a broken basalt palette, red ochre, chalk, and several complete tortoise shells. These were covered by a layer of sediment containing ashes, and garbage composed of flint and animal bones.

One of 86 tortoise shells found in a unique burial site analyzed by Hebrew University archaeologists

About halfway through the ritual, the woman was laid inside the pit in a child-bearing position, and special items including many more tortoise shells were placed on top of and around her.

This was followed by another layer of filling and limestones of various sizes that were placed directly on the body. The ritual concluded with the sealing of the grave with a large, heavy stone.

A wide range of activities took place in preparation for the funerary event. This included the collection of materials required for grave construction, and the capture and preparation of animals for the feast, particularly the 86 tortoises, which must have been time-consuming.

“The significant pre-planning implies that there was a defined ‘to do’ list, and a working plan of ritual actions and their order,” said Prof. Grosman.

The study of funerary ritual in the archaeological record becomes possible only after humans began to routinely bury their dead in archaeologically visible locations. The Natufian period (15,000-11,500 years ago) in the southern Levant marks an increase in the frequency and concentration of human burials.

Vew of Hilazon Tachtit cave in northern Israel

“The remnants of a ritual event at this site provide a rare opportunity to reconstruct the dynamics of ritual performance at a time when funerary ritual was becoming an increasingly important social mediator at a crucial juncture deep in human history,” the researchers said.

This unusual Late Natufian funerary event in Hilazon Tachtit Cave in northern Israel provides strong evidence for community engagement in ritual practice, and its analysis contributes to the growing picture of social complexity in the Natufian period as a predecessor for increasingly public ritual and social transformations in the early Neolithic period that follows.

The unprecedented scale and extent of social change in the Natufian, especially in terms of ritual activities, make this period central to current debates regarding the origin and significance of social and ritual processes in the agricultural transition.