2,000-Year-Old Books Bound Using Plates of Lead Metal & Wire

Ancient Plates of Lead CodicesAs a book binding enthusiast, I find all forms of book binding to be very interesting. Going back to the days of the Egyptians using papyrus to medieval hardback binding, it is all very intriguing. Today I read an article about 70 lead codices that appear to contain early writings from Christians dating back to the 1st century.

It is believed that these codices contain early Christian writings. Some believe that it may even include clues regarding the last days of Jesus’ life. Apparently these codices were found in eastern Jordan, where many early Christian believers possibly fled after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, around 70 AD. Whether you’re Christian or an atheist, you have to admit that this is a pretty cool archeological discovery.

Ancient Metal Lead Bound Pages - Early ChristianityThese plates are made up of thin sheets of lead metal, bound together by wire. Could this be the beginning of wire binding? The way the wire is used to bind the individual metal sheets allows the pages to be turned and read. Each of the codices are about the size of a credit card, so they are all pretty small.

So far these booklets appear to contain images and textual allusions to the Messiah. Some of the codices are wired shut, creating all sorts of speculation as to what they may contain inside.

According to the article:

One of the few sentences translated thus far from the texts, according to the BBC, reads, “I shall walk uprightly”–a phrase that also appears in Revelation.

Anyway, I just found this entire thing fascinating. The bound documents have a wire / coil binding appearance to them. I suppose it makes sense to use ringlets of wire to bind the books as that was probably one of the best binding methods available at the time.

At ABC Office we sell a wide variety of modern-day book binding machines that can be used to create reports, presentations and booklets. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here.

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