Sam Osmanagich kneels down next to a low wall, part of a 6-byfoot rectangle of fieldstone with an earthen floor. If I'd come upon it in a farmer's backyard here on the edge of Visoko—in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 15 miles northwest of Sarajevo—I would have assumed it to be the foundation of a shed or cottage abandoned by some 19th-century peasant. Osmanagich, a blond, year-old Bosnian who has lived for 16 years in Houston, Texas, has a more colorful explanation.
Consequently, you can conclude that the whole thing is a pyramid. Not just any pyramid, but what Osmanagich calls the Pyramid of the Moon, the world's largest—and oldest—step pyramid. Looming above the opposite side of town is the so-called Pyramid of the Sun—also known as Visocica Hill—which, at feet, also dwarfs the Great Pyramids Egypt. A third pyramid, he says, is in the nearby hills. All of them, he says, are some 12, years old. During that time much of Europe was under a mile-thick sheet of ice and most of humanity had yet to invent agriculture.
As a group, Osmanagich says, these structures are part of "the greatest pyramidal complex ever built on the face of the earth. In a country still recovering from the Carbon dating bosnian pyramid war, in which somepeople were killed and 2. Even Bosnian officials—including a prime minister and two presidents—have embraced them, along with the Sarajevo-based news media and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Bosnians, drawn to the promise of a glorious past and a more prosperous future for their battered country.
Skeptics, who say the pyramid claims are examples of pseudo-archaeology pressed into the service of nationalism, have been shouted down and called anti-Bosnian. Pyramid mania has descended upon Bosnia. Overpeople have visited the sites since Octoberwhen Osmanagich announced his discovery. Souvenir stands peddle pyramid-themed T-shirts, wood carvings, piggy banks, clocks
Carbon dating bosnian pyramid flip-flops.
Nearby eateries serve meals on pyramid-shaped plates and coffee comes with pyramid-emblazoned sugar packets. Foreigners by the thousands have come to see what all the fuss is about, drawn by reports by the BBC, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and ABC's Nightline which reported that thermal imaging had "apparently" revealed the presence of man-made, concrete blocks beneath the valley.
Osmanagich has also received official backing. His Pyramid of the Sun Foundation in Sarajevo has garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars in public donations and thousands more from Carbon dating bosnian pyramid companies. After Malaysia's former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, toured Visoko in Julymore contributions poured in.
Christian Schwarz-Schilling, the former high representative for the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, visited the site in JulyCarbon dating bosnian pyramid declared that "I was surprised with what I saw before my eyes, and the fact that such structures exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Osmanagich's many appearances on television have made him a national celebrity. When I was with him one day at the entrance to city hall, guards jumped out of their booths to embrace him.
Five years ago, almost no one had ever heard of him. Born in Zenica, about 20 miles north of Visoko, he earned a master's degree in international economics and politics at the University of Sarajevo. Years later, he obtained a doctorate in the sociology of history. He left Bosnia before its civil war, emigrating to Houston in because, in part, of its warm climatewhere he started a successful metalworking business that he still owns today.
While in Texas he got interested in the Aztec, Incan and Maya civilizations and made frequent trips to visit pyramid sites in Central and South America. He says that he's visited hundreds of pyramids worldwide.
His views of world history—described in his books published in Bosnia—are unconventional. In The World of the Mayawhich was reprinted in English in the United States, he writes that "Mayan hieroglyphics tell us that their ancestors came from the Pleiades Richard Byrd's Antarctic expedition. In Aprilwhile in Bosnia to promote his books, Osmanagich accepted an invitation to visit a local museum and the summit of Visocica, which Carbon dating bosnian pyramid topped by the ruins of Visoki, a seat of Bosnia's medieval kings.
He was convinced this was not "the work of Mother Nature. After his mountaintop epiphany, Osmanagich secured digging permits from the appropriate authorities, some core samples and wrote a new book, The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sunwhich announced "to the world that in the heart of Bosnia" is a hidden "stepped pyramid whose creators were ancient Europeans.
Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation, which Carbon dating bosnian pyramid him to seek funding for his planned excavation and preservation work. Visoko lies near the southern end of a valley that runs from Sarajevo to Zenica. The valley has been quarried for centuries and its geological history is well understood.
It was formed some ten million years ago as the mountains of Central Bosnia Carbon dating bosnian pyramid pushing skyward and was soon flooded, forming a lake 40 miles long.
As the mountains continued to rise over the next few million years, sediments washed into the lake and settled on the bottom in layers.
If you dig in the valley today, you can expect to find alternating layers of various thickness, from gossamer-thin clay sediments deposited in quiet times to plates of sandstones or thick layers of conglomerates sedimentary rocks deposited when raging rivers dumped heavy debris into the lake. Subsequent tectonic activity buckled sections of lakebed, creating angular hills, and shattered rock layers, leaving fractured plates of sandstone and chunky blocks of conglomerate.
In early Osmanagich asked a team of geologists from the nearby University of Tuzla to analyze core samples at Visocica. They found that his pyramid was composed of the same matter as other mountains in the area: Nonetheless, Osmanagich put scores of laborers to work digging on the hills. It was just as the geologists had predicted: Apparently unperturbed by the University of Tuzla report, Osmanagich Carbon dating bosnian pyramid Visocica's conglomerate blocks were made of concrete Carbon dating bosnian pyramid ancient builders had poured on-site.
This theory was endorsed by Joseph Davidovits, a French materials scientist who, inadvanced another controversial hypothesis—that the blocks making up the Egyptian pyramids were not carved, as nearly all experts believe, but cast in limestone concrete.
Carbon dating bosnian pyramid dubbed Pljesevica's sandstone plates "paved terraces," and according to Schoch, workers carved the hillside between the layers—to create the impression of stepped sides on the Pyramid of the Moon.
Particularly uniform blocks and tile sections were exposed for viewing by dignitaries, journalists and the many tourists who descended on the town.
Osmanagich's announcements sparked a media sensation, stoked with a steady supply of fresh observations: And Osmanagich has recruited an assortment of experts whom he says vindicate his claims. For instance, inEnver Buza, a surveyor from Sarajevo's Geodetic Institute, published a paper stating that the Pyramid of the Sun is "oriented to the north with a perfect precision.
Many Bosnians have embraced Osmanagich's theories, particularly those from among the country's ethnic Bosniaks or Bosnian Muslimswho constitute about 48 percent of Bosnia's population. Visoko was held by Bosniak-led forces during the s war, when it was choked with refugees driven out of surrounding villages by Bosnian Serb and later, Croat forces, who repeatedly shelled the town.
Today it is a bastion of support for the Bosniaks' nationalist party, which controls the mayor's office. A central tenet of Bosniak national mythology is that Bosniaks are descended from Bosnia's medieval nobility.
Ruins of the 14th-century Visoki Castle can be found on the summit of Visocica Hill—on top of the Pyramid of the Sun—and, in combination, the two icons create considerable symbolic resonance for Bosniaks. 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.
For his part, Osmanagich insists he disapproves of those who exploit his archaeological work for political gain. Yet Bosnia and Herzegovina still bears the deep scars of a war in which the country's Serbs and, later, Croats sought to create ethnically pure small states by killing or expelling people of other ethnicities. The most brutal incident occurred inwhen Serb forces seized control of the town of Srebrenica—a United Nations-protected "safe haven"—and executed some 8, Bosniak men of military age.
Wellesley College anthropologist Philip Kohl, who has studied the political uses of archaeology, says that Osmanagich's pyramids exemplify a narrative common to the former Eastern bloc. Archaeological claims have long been used to serve political purposes. InBritish archaeologists combined a modern skull with an orangutan jaw to Carbon dating bosnian pyramid a "missing link" in support of the claim that human beings arose in Britain, not Africa.
The paleontologist Richard Leakey later noted that English elites took so much pride in "being the first, that they swallowed [the hoax] hook, line and sinker. More recently, inShinichi Fujimura—a prominent archaeologist whose finds suggested that Japanese wasyears old—was revealed to have buried the forged artifacts he had supposedly discovered. Some Bosnian scholars have publicly opposed Osmanagich's project. In Apriltwenty-one historians, geologists and archaeologists signed a letter published in several Bosnian newspapers describing the excavations as amateurish and lacking proper scientific supervision.
Some went on local television to debate
Carbon dating bosnian pyramid. Bosniak nationalists retaliated, denouncing pyramid opponents as "corrupt" and harassing them with e-mails.
Zilka Kujundzic-Vejzagic of the National Museum, one of the Balkans' pre-eminent archaeologists, says she received threatening phone Sitting in his office at the University of Carbon dating bosnian pyramid in England, he reads from a thick folder of letters denouncing him as a fool and a friend of the Serbs.
He labeled the file "Bosnia—Abuse. In JuneSulejman Tihic, then chairman of Bosnia's three-member presidency, endorsed the foundation's work.
Tihic invited Koichiro Matsuura, then director-general of Unesco, to send experts to determine if the pyramids qualified as a World Heritage site.
Foreign scholars, including Harding, rallied to block the move: But the Pyramid Foundation's political clout appears considerable. When the minister of culture of the Bosniak-Croat Federation, Gavrilo Grahovac, blocked the renewal of foundation permits in —on the grounds that the credibility Carbon dating bosnian pyramid those working on the project was "unreliable"—the action was overruled by Nedzad Brankovic, then the federation prime minister.
Critics contend that the project not only sullies Bosnian science but also soaks up scarce resources. Meanwhile, the National Museum in Sarajevo has struggled to find sufficient funds to repair wartime damage and safeguard its collection, which includes more than two million archaeological artifacts and hundreds of thousands of books.
Critics also cite the potential damage to Bosnia's archae- ological heritage. Although Osmanagich's excavation has kept its distance from the medieval ruins on Hill, Kaljanac worries that the project may destroy undocumented Neolithic, Roman or medieval sites in the valley.
Carbon dating bosnian pyramid a letter to Science magazine, Schoch said the hills in Visoko "could well yield scientifically valuable terrestrial vertebrate specimens.
That same year, the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, an independent body created in by the Dayton peace treaty to safeguard historical artifacts from nationalist infighting, asked to inspect artifacts reportedly found at Osmanagich's site. According to commission head Lovrenovic, commission members were refused access.
The commission then expanded the protected zone around Visoki, effectively pushing Osmanagich off the mountain. Bosnia's president, ministers and Carbon dating bosnian pyramid currently have no authority to override the commission's decisions.
But if Osmanagich has begun to encounter obstacles in his homeland, he's had continuing success abroad.
Carbon dating bosnian pyramid past June, he was made a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, one of whose academicians served as "scientific chairman" of the First International Scientific Conference of the Valley of the Pyramids, which Osmanagich convened in Sarajevo in August This past July, officials in the village of Boljevac, Serbia, claimed that a team sent by Osmanagich had
Carbon dating bosnian pyramid a pyramid under Rtanj, a local mountain.
Osmanagich e-mailed me he had not visited Rtanj himself nor had he initiated any research at the site. However, he told the Serbian newspaper Danas that he endorsed future study. For now Osmanagich has gone underground, literally, to excavate a series of what he says are ancient tunnels in Visoko—which he believes are part of a network that connects the three pyramids. He leads me through one of them, a cramped, three-foot-high passage through disconcertedly unconsolidated sand and pebbles he says he is widening into a seven-foot-tall thoroughfare—the tunnel's original height, he maintains—for tourists.
The tunnel was partially filled, he says, when sea levels rose by 1, feet at the end of the ice age. He points out various boulders he says were transported to the site 15, years ago, Carbon dating bosnian pyramid of which bear carvings he says date back to that time.
In an interview with the Bosnian weekly magazine BH DaniNadija Nukic, a geologist whom Osmanagich once employed, claimed there was no writing on the boulders when she first saw them.
Oct 7, Radiocarbon dating accurately records dates to 58, years and was used to determine the date of the Bosnian Pyramids. This carbon dating puts the pyramid 20 thousand years before the Sumerian and Babylonian “civilizations. In other words, the Bosnian Pyramid. Sep 19, Following in line with the last post I present to you the Carbon Dating Analysis made in The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun. I was in skeptic mode.