by In Wales
Mon Aug 27th, 2012 at 10:19:56 AM EST
I'm a little late on the scene given that this all broke back in 2005 or thereabouts but I'm currently trying to find out more about the so-called "Bosnian Pyramids". Truth or fiction, they have an interesting story to them.
Wiki starts us off with the official version,
Bosnian pyramids - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term Bosnian pyramids has been used for a cluster of natural geological formations sometimes known as flatirons near the Bosnian town of Visoko, northwest of Sarajevo. The hill named Visočica became the focus of international attention in October 2005 following a news-media campaign promoting the idea that they are human-made and the largest ancient pyramids on Earth.
In analysing the site, its known history, and the excavations; geologists, archeologists, and other scientists have concluded that they are natural formations and that there are no signs of human building involved. Additionally, scientists have criticised the Bosnian authorities for supporting the pyramid claim saying: "This scheme is a cruel hoax on an unsuspecting public and has no place in the world of genuine science."
The man behind all of this is self-styled Indiana Jones of the Balkans, Semir Osmanagić, a Bosnian-American amateur archeologist. From his website 'Sam' tells us:
Sam Semir Osmanagich
He has discovered ancient pyramidal complex in Visoko (Bosnia-Herzegovina) which consists of five colossal stone structures in the shape of the pyramid with extensive pre-historical underground tunnel network.
There are plenty of clips up on youtube covering the early media storm and Sam's lectures promoting his project to unearth the secrets of these pyramids. His Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation has been raising money to excavate the site and unearth further evidence to understand the pyramids by.
At first glance the website seems to be a promotional tool for tourist packages, and for selling Sam's books and DVDs. The site provides information on the project and the pyramids of which they say represent the biggest complex of pyramidal structures in the World:
Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids
Pyramids of Sun, Moon and Dragon form perfect equilateral triangle with 2.170 meters distance between their tops. All pyramids are oriented toward the cosmic North. Fifty-five leading scientists from 13 countries concluded during First International Scientific Conference on Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids in August 2008 that Bosnian pyramids are archaeological phenomenon and further scientific investigation is needed.
Geo-radar and thermal analysis confirmed existence of passageways and chambers inside the pyramids. Sample analysis of rectangular blocks from the Bosnian pyramid of the Sun at Institutes for materials in Bosnia, Italy and France have confirmed that they were man-made as concrete blocks of exceptional quality. According to the radiocarbon datings (Poland, 2011) and pedological analysis (Bosnia, 2006) pyramids are built over 10.000 years ago. Underground labyrinth is tens of kilometers long and consists of passageways, chambers and artificial lakes.
Big claims. If true, a site of international importance but also one which may turn the conventional wisdom on it's head regarding the timeline of human civilisation; not to mention a challenge to theories on how the Egyptian pyramids were build (also from high quality man-made concrete according to one archeologist involved with the Bosnian site.)
There are however, a great many critics. Many archeologists say the formations are natural, created by the mountains being pushed up millions of years ago, forming a large lake depositing sediments that now form layers of clay, sandstone and conglomerates. In the process of excavating to prove/create the existence of man-made pyramids, archeologists claim that other significant aspects of medieval and natural history including fossils are being ignored and destroyed. Yet the project has full backing of the Bosnian Government and it is hoped that the site will eventually gain UNESCO World Heritage status.
The wider social and cultural significance of this is also interesting. Scientists and others who denounce the pyramids as a hoax are declared anti-Bosniaks.
The Mystery of Bosnia's Ancient Pyramids | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine
The belief that Visoko was a cradle of European civilization and that the Bosniaks' ancestors were master builders who surpassed even the ancient Egyptians has become a matter of ethnic pride. "The pyramids have been turned into a place of Bosniak identification," says historian Dubravko Lovrenovic of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Commission to Preserve National Monuments. "If you are not for the pyramids, you are accused of being an enemy of the Bosniaks."
To quote Orwell, "He who controls the past, controls the future, and he who controls the present, controls the past."
So where's the scam? Do we have a conspiracy fronted by an amateur archeologist, backed by the Bosnian Government in an attempt to build national identity and improve the economy; or are we dealing with an international elite oppressing and censoring a small war torn country trying to promote and preserve a crucial aspect of heritage that turns conventional wisdom on it's head?