Yep, that's a hunk of the [very] old style lead cable. The paper separates the pairs. Still aware of some lengths of it in the ground and carrying working circuits round this way. Have faulted on it a few times, but have not had the training to make/close a joint on it, only a few that can now. It's absolutely fine, til it gets wet.
Looks to be a 'travellers' dream, copper wrapped in lead.