You may not have heard of the Bosnian pyramids, but that hasn’t stopped over 400,000 visitors flocking to the site, near the capital city, Sarajevo, since their discovery in October 2005.
Of course, we know that ancient cultures, at various times in history, have built pyramids structures, all over the globe – think of the Ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Aztecs, for example.
The exact purpose (if, indeed, there is one) of these pyramids remains a mystery.
Some scientists believe they were used for astronomy; others believe they were used in death rituals and burials.
Some scientists even believe that pyramids may have been used to store electromagnetic energy.
This mystery surrounding pyramids is undoubtedly part of their appeal, and the reason that tourists choose to travel from around the globe to visit them in Bosnia.
So why is there such a huge controversy over the Bosnian pyramids?
What are the Bosnian Pyramids?
The Bosnian Pyramids were discovered in 2005, by Bosnian national, Dr. Semir Osmanagic.
Osmanagic obtained his doctorate in the Sociology of History from the University of Sarajevo, but later moved to Houston, Texas, during the Yugoslav War of the 1990s.
While in Texas he became 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.
It was while he back in his home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, promoting his books, that he discovered the Bosnian pyramids.
Osmanagic had accepted an invitation to climb to the summit of Visočica hill, when he noticed its distinct pyramid shape.
He then looked across the valley and spotted another pyramid with three triangular sides and a flat top, and with the use of his compass he determined that the sides of the pyramid were perfectly oriented towards north, south east and west.
The Bosnian Pyramids are a complex of five pyramids in total, with the tallest (the Pyramid of the Sun) reaching a height of 220 metres (722 feet).
By contrast, the great pyramid of Giza is tiny in comparison, at only 147 metres (482 feet).
The other Bosnian Pyramids have been named as the Pyramid of the Moon, Love, Earth and the Dragon.
Osmanagic’s discovery has made him a national celebrity, with dozens of TV appearances and interviews.
His Pyramid of the Sun Foundation has received hundreds of thousands in public and corporate donations, and he has even been given official backing by the Bosnian government.
Why the Controversy about the Bosnian Pyramids?
Excavations on the site began in 2006, with funding from the government, as Dr. Osmanagic claimed that layers of topsoil must be removed in order to appreciate the original structure of the pyramids.
The decision to dig here was controversial in itself, as the area is the location of Bosnia’s medieval capital, Visoki.
Any excavation work could potentially disturb other areas of archaeological significance.
Carbon dating of organic fossils found inside the excavated areas of the pyramids suggest that the pyramids date from at least 30,000 years ago, which is far older than the commonly accepted beginning of human civilisation, approximately 10,000 years ago.
Dr. Osmanagic believes that this discovery completely changes our understanding of human history, and that these pyramids are evidence of a lost people.
Other scientists, on the other hand, argue that the fossils must belong to animals and that the “pyramids” are, in fact, just hills.
Furthermore, they say that Europe was in the midst of an ice age 30,000 years ago, and the region would have been uninhabitable.
They believe that Osmanagic used the excavation process to create pyramid shapes in the hills, and that he has created this elaborate hoax in order to boost Bosnian tourism following the war.
In 2006, the European Association of Archaeologists, wrote a manifesto against the Government’s decision to allow Osmanagic to dig at the site.
“We, the undersigned professional archaeologists from all parts of Europe, wish to protest strongly at the continuing support by the Bosnian authorities for the so-called “pyramid” project being conducted on hills at and near Visoko. This scheme is a cruel hoax on an unsuspecting public and has no place in the world of genuine science. It is a waste of scarce resources that would be much better used in protecting the genuine archaeological heritage and is diverting attention from the pressing problems that are affecting professional archaeologists in Bosnia and Herzegovina on a daily basis.”
Are the Bosnian Pyramids A Hoax or National Treasure?
Like the Egyptian Pyramids, the Bosnian ones orient to the cosmic north, but with an accuracy 15 times greater than that of the Pyramid of Giza.
The peaks of the Sun, Dragon, and Moon pyramid also form a perfect equilateral triangle, which supporters hold as irrefutable evidence of the pyramids being man-made.
The Pyramid of the Sun also has overlapping layers of concrete, which international tests have deemed to be “not of natural origin,” and with a “strength and water resistance superior to known material.”
On one hand, it seems so implausible that an ancient civilisation, alive during the middle of an ice age, could build these pyramids using the toughest concrete ever known to man.
Yet on the other hand it is equally unbelievable that pyramids so accurately aligned to the compass points and to each other, could ever occur naturally.
If the case for the Bosnian Pyramids turns out to be true, it will revolutionise our understanding of human civilisation.
Osmanagic argues that the scientists don’t want to accept that their current understanding of human history could be wrong.
Regardless of the ongoing debate surrounding the pyramids, many in Bosnia and Herzegovina still believe the pyramids are real, and so do the visitors who flock to see them.
The area is filled with souvenir shops, selling pyramid-themed goods to tourists eager to get a glimpse for themselves, so they can make up their own minds whether or not the pyramids are real.