In October of 2005, international media covered a sensational story of a man claiming to have discovered a group of huge, previously unknown ancient Pyramids in Europe.
The man, Anthropologist Dr. Semir Osmanagic, made the fantastic announcement to journalists that he had found the biggest and oldest pyramids in the world and incredibly they were to be found buried in the most unlikely of places… Bosnia. The ancient structures, Osmanagic explained, were buried in the hillsides surrounding a small sleepy town called Visoko, located 25km North-West of the Bosnian Capital, Sarajevo. The town, now barely known for its once booming leather industry, would become the centre of a fierce international debate which, after eight years, continues on through to this day.
In 2006, after initial probing and surveying, Osmanagic created the not for profit, “Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation” and in the summer of that year large scale excavations began. Almost immediately after Osmanagic started his project the authenticity of his miraculous find was to be called into question. Zahi Hawass, archaeologist and later becoming “Egyptian Minister of Antiquities,” released a statement in June of 2006 in which he strongly criticised Osmanagic and his Pyramid hypothesis.
Giving his reasons, Hawass referred to several large blocks that had been excavated by the research teams, explaining that “No one can say that these stones were transported by human beings since each weighs approximately 40 tons.” Hawass’s explanation for the blocks and the pyramid shaped hill was to be that Osmanagic must be “hallucinating”, denying the existence of any pyramids in Bosnia. Dr Robert Schoch, a geologist of notoriety for his study of the Egyptian Sphinx, also issued a disagreeable statement after he visited the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids that year. In his comments of the trip, Schoch said he saw nothing unusual in the hills around the Bosnian town.
In a similar fashion to that of Hawass, Schoch’s sentiment towards Osmanagic’s theory was that the Pyramids must be “imaginary” and that the pyramids are nothing more than natural geological formations. Later, at the end of the first year of excavations, in December 2006, seven prominent members of the European Association of Archaeologists issued a condemning joint statement. The archaeologists, including Director of the Council for British Archaeology, Dr. Mike Heyworth and another, Professor Hermann Parzinger, President of the German Archaeological Institute, accused Osmanagic of duping the world with his claims of pyramids in Bosnia.
In their statement it read, “This [Pyramid] scheme is a cruel hoax on an unsuspecting public and has no place in the world of genuine science.”. However, despite the barrage of strong condemnation Osmanagic and his team have continued investigating the sites around Visoko for a further eight years.
According to Osmanagic, there are no fewer than 5 buried Pyramids within the vicinity of the town of Visoko with a possibility for as many as nine in total. The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun, the largest and most obviously pyramidal in shape of the Bosnian Pyramids, is over 270m tall and has an estimated mass 39 times greater than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt. At 190m tall, the second largest of the Bosnian Pyramids is the “Pyramid of the Moon,” which is no less than 50m taller than the Egyptian Great Pyramid. Close by to the Moon Pyramid towards the South-West is an unusually shaped structure named “Temple of Mother Earth‟.
This structure has a form similar to that of a crescent moon or amphitheatre and is of an impressive size, equalling that of its neighbouring Pyramids. Surrounding the Bosnian pyramid complex are also numerous, more modestly sized supporting structures including mounds and tumuli, the most accessible of which is found several kilometres North East from the centre of the pyramid complex. Named after the village in which it is found, “Vratnica Tumulus‟ is of a similar conical shape and size to the famous tumulus “Silbury Hill‟, located in Wiltshire, UK. Osmanagic also claims that the presence of numerous subterranean passages found under Visoko belong to the Pyramid complex, interconnecting each of the structures from below and running for as many as hundreds of kilometres beneath the ground.
Because of the shear size of the site, as it stands today the meticulous work undertaken by Dr Semir Osmanagic has resulted in less than 1% of the Pyramidal structures to have been so far uncovered, leaving much of the evidence which would support Osmanagic‟s theory still buried beneath the soil. With limited financial backing from the local Bosnian government, Osmanagic relies substantially on an international team of volunteers which make their way to Visoko each summer to assist with the excavations. Since 2010, hundreds of inquisitive people from as far away as Peru, Argentina,
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