More Dishonesty from Jordan Codices

The admin in charge of the Jordan Codices Facebook group has posted four pictures from what it claims are forensic tests of the codices. He states:

This set of photographs are some examples we took during our forensic work on the codices.

It’s my contention that the photos show no such thing. These are publicity photos taken by Elkington himself (or associates) and passed off as scientific. He claims each codex was “numbered and measured for record,” but look at how the numbering takes place in the following two photos:

In the first photo, the vast majority of the codex has been obscured by the portion of torn-off loose leaf notebook paper. What value does this photo have for a researcher? Absolutely none. In the lower picture a smaller piece of loose leaf notebook paper has been torn off to allow for the visibility of the tree image (and the numbering system is different). This is simply not how artifacts are photographed by professionals. Elkington is obscuring those parts of the codices that have text on them so that people who have the ability to analyze the texts for themselves cannot do so. He wants you to see the tree, though, since it’s pretty and it cannot be shown to be unintelligible.

On that Facebook page you can also find an email exchange between Elkington (posing as one of the professors involved, in my opinion) and the BBC complaints department as well as the following comment, which misrepresents and marginalizes the work of Steve Caruso:



EDIT: It should also be noted that one of the photos the Jordan Codices page suggests was taken during “forensic work” is not new to this story (it is the only one without a crudely made number plate):

It also happens to have been a photo David Elkington has been offering for license since this whole story began back in March:

Note how the rings used to bind the plates were cropped out of the Facebook photo, perhaps to avoid showing that this “forensic work” included destroying the original binding of the codex. Including the bowl of pistachio shells (ubiquitous in forensic laboratories the world over, you know) was a bit of a boneheaded move, but it helped bring what appear to be Q-tips partially into the photo. How scientific! In addition to throwing even more doubt on the claims being made, I think this also leaves little doubt that David Elkington himself is behind the Facebook group.





5 responses to “More Dishonesty from Jordan Codices

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