According to the BBC website,
A group of 70 or so “books”, each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings, was apparently discovered in a remote arid valley in northern Jordan somewhere between 2005 and 2007. A flash flood had exposed two niches inside the cave, one of them marked with a menorah or candlestick, the ancient Jewish religious symbol. A Jordanian Bedouin opened these plugs, … the Jordanian government … claims they were smuggled into Israel by another Bedouin. The Israeli Bedouin who currently holds the books …
The books, or “codices”, were apparently cast in lead, before being bound by lead rings. Their leaves – which are mostly about the size of a credit card – contain text in Ancient Hebrew, most of which is in code. …
One of the few people to see the collection is David Elkington, a scholar of ancient religious archaeology who is heading a British team trying to get the lead books safely into a Jordanian museum.
Elkington, however, may not be a reputable scholar, at least according to blogger Clayboy here.
Another blogger has more details here.
The owner of the cache is a Bedouin named Hassan Saeda who lives in the village of Um-al-Ghanam in the north of Israel,according to the Sunday Times. He is believed to have obtained them after they were discovered in northern Jordan.
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.’
Larry Hurtado comments here.
The writing is reported as some kind of Hebrew but coded. Until the items are competently read, we don’t even know what their contents are. The items are miniature codices, of a size that suggests private usage, and, so far as I know, suggests a date much later than the first century (there seems to have been an upswing in the production of miniature codices from ca. 3rd century CE onward).
Finally, the incidence of the forgery of artefacts is so great that any responsible scholar must express profound hesitation about making any judgement on such items until they have been properly analysed. Especially in light of the “Jesus bone-box” drama, we might all take a few deep breaths and simply call for the items to be put into the public domain for competent study before more rash and pointless claims are proffered.
What we need, clearly, is a team of reputable scholars to examine the things. There is real money being demanded, apparently, as in all such cases. We all know that Israel is the centre of a great deal of forgery, doubtless because of the combination of an excellent system of education, ready access to the best references, and a large population of groups like bedouin who are not especially noted for high moral standards towards non-members of the group.
Let us hope the find is genuine. Let us hope, further, that it is significant. Like Larry, I suspect it is not Christian but Jewish, and, if genuine, somewhat later in date than is suggested.