Jordan hevder landet er blitt lurt for et enestående arkeologisk funn på linje med Dødehavsrullene. Det er snakk om bøker i bly og kobber som stammer fra Jesu tid.

Jordan forlanger bøkene utlevert fra Israel. Ministeren for arkeologi hevder at funnet er enestående, men det mener ikke israelske arkeologer. De mener bøkene er forfalskninger.

De eies av en beduin i Galilea. Han har gitt prøver til et britisk team ledet av egyptologen Elkington og hans kone. De går god for funnet.

Skulle bøkene vise seg å være autentiske, vil det være en sensasjon. Da er funnet selvsagt både vitenskapelig uvurderlig og økonomisk høyst lukrativt.

Jordan’s quarrel is not with the Israeli government, but with Hassan Saeda, a Bedouin farmer in the Galilee, who has possession of the codices and is keeping them in hiding.

According to the Elkingtons, Mr Saeda received the artefacts from a Jordanian Bedouin who discovered them in a cave at some stage between 2005 and 2007, much in the same way the Dead Sea Scrolls were found 64 years ago.

Mr Saeda denies the claim, saying the codices have been in his family’s possession since they were found by his great-grandfather, an assertion challenged by the Jordanian government, which said it would «exert all efforts at every level» to get the artefacts repatriated.

In slightly unclear circumstances, Dr Elkington’s team was allowed access to a small portion of the artefacts where they reached their conclusion.

Containing cryptic messages in Hebrew and Ancient Greek, the codices were etched in an indecipherable code. They were also replete with potentially messianic symbols including what appeared to be a Roman cross before an empty tomb, and behind the walls of a city – a clear reference, the team believed, to Christ’s crucifixion «without a city wall».

A piece of leather found with the metal books was shown by carbon dating tests to be just under 2,000 years old, potentially placing its provenance within Christ’s ministry, while a metallurgical examination on one of the codices found that it was also very old.

Jordan vows to recover artefacts ‘as important as Dead Sea Scrolls’
Jordan has vowed to use all means at its disposal to recover a set of artefacts allegedly smuggled into Israel that it believes could constitute the most important Christian texts ever found.