VISOCICA HILL, Bosnia-Hercegovina — Bosnian explorer Semir Osmanagic is convinced that he has found Europe’s first pyramids, which he says are a new world wonder dating back to ancient times.
“I was amazed when I first saw them. I’m deeply convinced now that this is the work of an ancient civilization built many thousands of years ago,” he said while observing an area he excavated north of Sarajevo.
The 45-year-old is so certain that two pyramids are hidden in Visoko valley that he has spent some 16,000 euros ($20,000) researching the area, located either side of a river about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the Bosnian capital.
Residents of the nearby town of Visoko have long known about the presence of the two structures that they always referred to as ‘pyramids’ but none of them was ever intrigued enough to investigate further.
But Osmanagic, who says that he sharpened his eye for archaeology on numerous trips around the world to study ancient civilizations, insists that the structures “cannot be the art of nature”.
The self-styled explorer with an Indiana Jones-like hat and clothes began his Bosnian pyramid crusade in April this year after visiting the remnants of a medieval royal palace at the top of the hill.
Osmanagic, a businessman and author of several books on other civilizations, says that the two “constructions” are precisely aligned with the compass to the four corners of the world.
He says that he sees astonishing similarities between them and Mexican pyramids dating back to about AD 200, which also come in pairs, one representing the sun and the other the moon.
This is why he calls Visocica hill “The Bosnian pyramid of the sun”.
Osmanagic says that he believes that builders from an unknown civilization shaped the hill into a ‘step pyramid’ then coated it with a kind of primitive concrete.
The structure now stands some 70 meters (230 feet) high, with a square base that is 220 by 220 meters.
After conducting initial probes about 17 meters into the earth that revealed “numerous anomalies in the soil”, Osmanagic says that he returned to the site with a team of people to start his initial excavation work.
Nadja Nukic, a geologist at the site, said that she was most puzzled by three layers of brown polished stone that lie an equal distance from each other underground.
The team began excavating a few spots at the site this week, with the work expected to be completed in two weeks. They hope to be able to uncover one of the pyramid steps and larger pieces of the mysterious brown stone for further analysis.
To back his insistence that the two structures are ancient pyramids, Osmanagic says that his diggers uncovered slabs of polished sandstone that formed the “paved entrance” to the structures.
The director of the Visoko Historic Heritage museum, Senad Hodovic, admits that he is no skeptic. “The pyramids are obviously the work of man. But we need proper and serious analysis to show who built them and when.”
Hodovic says that he has spent years urging authorities to support archaeological research of the plateau of the hill, which is recorded in historic annals as the site of a medieval Bosnian town.
He says that the shape and monumentality of the pyramids is not typical for middle-ages Bosnian constructions.
Osmanagic, who has lived in the United States for the past 15 years where he runs a metal workshop business, says that he has no ambitions of becoming famous.
“I’m not doing this for my own glory. I just want to encourage local authorities to seriously deal with this site which could become Bosnia’s most profitable product,” Osmanagic said.
Thinking of profit, a successful local businessman recently bought most of the area on the plateau where ‘pyramid entrance’ lies.
Europe’s first pyramid?
Bosnia’s leading Muslim daily Dnevni Avaz writes excitedly about “a sensational discovery” of “the first European pyramid” in the central town of Visoko, just north of Sarajevo.
Excavations at a hill site above the town have been going on for several months and initial analyses “have confirmed the original claim that this is Europe’s first pyramid and a monumental building, similar in dimensions to the Egyptian pyramids.”
“The pyramid is 100 metres high and there is evidence that it contains rooms and a monumental causeway … The plateau is built of stone blocks, which indicates the presence at the time of a highly developed civilisation,” the daily explains.
“Archaeological excavations near the surface have uncovered a part of a wall and fragments of steps,” it reveals.
“Visocica hill could not have been shaped like this by nature,” geologist Nada Nukic tells the daily. “This is already far too more than we have anticipated, but we expect a lot more from further analysis,” she concludes.