Via Mark Goodacre I learned of the blog Hamblin of Jerusalem, which makes the humorous and plausible suggestion that the impression of a crocodile on one of the lead tablets might have been made using a children’s toy.
Steve Caruso updates a recent post and added a picture with analysis of some of the poorly-drawn and inverted letters. To get a letter backwards by failing to reverse it on a mold so that the impression comes out the right way is a mistake made by ancients and not only moderns. But the connection between the lead codices and the earlier bronze ones is hard to dispute, and failure to reverse letters doesn’t account for the borrowed text or for the confusion between alpha and lambda.
Meanwhile, the BBC is plowing ignorantly ahead and offering an interview with David and Jennifer Elkington (HT Joel Watts and John Byron). Those interviewed state things that are complete bunk – such as that the menorah could not be depicted. One would have to be more or less completely ignorant about Jewish art from antiquity in order to make such a claim.
Has anyone written to the BBC or other media outlets to try to get them to stop making fools of themselves? Maybe we should contact our university press relations people to see if we can get press releases of our own out there?