The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) has dismissed them saying they are of no value. They state that they are a mixture of incompatible periods and styles with out any connection or logic. Such motifs can be found in the thousands in the antiquities markets in Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Robert Feather a metallurgist with a passion for archeology, has been asked to authenticate what he believes could be one of the most exciting discoveries since the Dead Sea Scrolls. The West London Synagogue member has previously published on the Copper Scroll, the Dead Sea Scroll thought to hold the locations of the Temple treasures.
Now he is trying to establish the origins of this mysterious cache of metal books which could be linked to the Kabbalah. The Kabbalah is a set of scripture that exist outside fo the Jewish traditional scriptures. They are a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an eternal creator and his mortal universe. This collection consists of more than 20 early books made mostly of lead containing cryptic messages in Hebrew and Greek along with symbols such as the Menorah. In various places the Hebrew seem to be speaking of Bar Kochba the leader of the second century Judean revolt against the Romans as well as Shimon Bar Yochai who hid in a cave from the Romans for 13 years.
Undeterred Mr. Feather cites the findings of Dr. Peter Northover a metals analyst at Oxford University who has conducted tests on two samples of metals from one book and has concluded that their composition was consistant with a range of ancient lead, and that it was clear from the surface corrosion that the book was not a recent production.
Mr. Saeda's lawyer insisted that the IAA did not carry out extensive enough checks and research on the material. He also stated that after the time he has spent around them he believes them to be authentic as well. There was also a piece of leather found with the plates with the image of a crocodile that was sent for a first part of carbon dating tests that posted results dating it over 2000 years old. Feathers said that it still needs to be corraborated with other tests that are currently being conducted before he is confident with of its accuracy.
As exciting as this is the thing that sticks out the most to me is that if this is a legitimate ancient record engraved on metal plates it speaks volumes about how the ancients kept records in hopes of preserving their most important messages. It also acts as added proof along with the Copper Scroll (part of the Dead Sea Scrolls) that this was a somewhat common pratice used the same way that Nephi did when creating the plates that were used and eventually translated into the Book of Mormon. One the other hand if these do prove to be nothing more than another attempt of a Bedouin to get a fraud out on to the antiquities market in hopes for it to be sold, it does absolutley nothing as far as refuting the Book of Mormon.