The Bosnian Pyramids: 12,000-year-old advanced ancient structures hidden beneath the hills?

Amateur archaeologist Sam Osmanagić made headlines in 2008 with his adamant claims that the world’s oldest and largest pyramids are actually in Bosnia, near the city of Visoko. He insisted that they were built 12,000 years ago by an advanced ancient society, and his stories about them became increasingly more abstract in the following years.

Visočica, an above two hundred metres high hill in Bosnia and Herzegovina famous as a heritage site of the Old Town of Visoko.

Bosnian Pyramids of the sun
The Hills of Visoko Town, Bosnia © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The hill has for more than a decade been the centre of archaeological curiosity, as many believe it to be part of an ancient human-made pyramid complex, widely known as “The Bosnian Pyramid Complex.” However, this belief has been totally rejected by the main-stream archaeologists and geologists from all around the world.

The idea of the Bosnian Pyramids

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The Bosnian Piramids, Visoko, Bosnia © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

It all started in April 2005 when Semir Osmanagić, aka Sam Osmanagić, a Bosnian American businessman, first noticed the irregularly shaped hills on a trip to the Visoko town, located 30 kilometres northwest of Sarajevo. He first put forth the idea of the pyramids that are hidden beneath these hills. Following his extraordinary claims and explanations, excavations began in the same year.

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Underneath the layers of vegetation and soil covering the hills of Visoko, there are layers of concrete making up what is known as the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids.

According to Osmanagić, the preliminary digging uncovered mysterious concrete-like slabs under the outer layers of soil not native to this certain area. He also claims, further excavations, as well as satellite images, thermal analysis and radar studies, have been performed at the site, all independently confirming the existence of pyramid-shaped architecture.

How big is it?

Visočica hill came to international attention in October 2005, following a campaign to promote the scientifically unsupported idea that it is the largest of a group of ancient human-made pyramids on Earth. This idea originated with Houston-based expatriate Bosnian author and businessman Semir Osmanagić who has since turned the site into a tourist destination.

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Semir Osmanagić, The Pioneer Of The Bosnian Pyramids Idea.

In his study, Osmanagić found that there is a complex of five pyramids in the Visočica hill region. Of which, the Pyramid of the Sun is the largest structure (hill) that reaches a height of 220 metres. Giza is tiny in comparison, at just 147 metres. Others include the Pyramid of the Moon, Love, Earth and the Dragon are bigger than any Egyptian pyramid. All these names have been given by Osmanagić.

The Bosnian pyramid of the Sun

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The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“The Bosnian Pyramid Of The Sun” is the largest one in the group. At this pyramid, investigators discovered aggregate blocks under a metre of soil — rectangular and roughly six-sided, the blocks appeared to be made from a type of concrete. Researchers determined that the pyramid concrete was superior to modern aggregates, holding the lower capability of water absorption.

Experts who examined the crystals found in the concrete-like structures determined that during the manufacturing process, the materials were heated to above 500 degrees. Studies done at the University of Paris discovered that the concrete material found on the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun was five times stronger than modern-day concrete.

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Blocks underneath the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun

Physicists and electrical engineers measured an electrical “beam” emitted from the top of the Sun Pyramid — a 13-foot wide field of electromagnetic energy at 28 kHz, not commonly found in nature. With miles of underground tunnels, multiple chambers, and flowing water, Osmanagić believes the formations were designed to produce specific types of energy.

Similar theories have developed in regard to pyramids on other continents — researchers believe that chambers within the Great Pyramid of Giza were designed to conduct and store electromagnetic energy.

The Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon

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The Bosnian Pyramid Of The Moon. © thebihlover

The Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon was discovered almost at the same time as the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun, in 2005. This pyramid is different in some points than the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun. The top of the pyramid of the Moon is flat. Why the pyramid is flat on the top, is unknown, but some argue that the pyramid is an unfinished project.

However, the similarity between the Sun and the Moon pyramids is that both have an access plateau that is going to the top of the pyramid. The Moon Pyramid is also leaning to a hill, which is believed to be for structural stability. The materials that are found on the Moon pyramid are sandstone blocks and clay, while on the Sun pyramid, the materials found are concrete-like-slabs. Excavations that were opened in 2006, uncovered some of the blocks, making a terrace.

Bosnian pyramid of the moon
Terrace on the Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon © thebihlover

According to a sample of an organic carbon material that was found on one of the paved terraces at the Moon pyramid, the age of the structure is over 10,000 years old. However, the pyramid may be much older. The latest analysis says, the Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon was built almost the same time as Göbekli Tepe. The blocks are also similar, which makes it more interesting. There are layers of clay between the blocks.

The extraordinary claims made by Dr. Sam Osmanagić

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Sam Osmanagić on field investigation at the Valley Of Bosnian Pyramids. © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Through the years, Sam Osmanagić had continuously claimed that the Bosnian Pyramids are at least 12,000 years old, suggesting that they were most likely constructed by the Illyrians, who lived in the area from 12,000 BC to 500 BC. But later, Osmanagić found in a new study that the gigantic structure is nearly 34,000 years old ― 24,000 years earlier than our accepted version of advanced human civilization.

Osmanagić argued that Visočica is an example of cultures building on top of other cultures. It is very interesting that multiple historical records from various cultures have already claimed an advanced civilization ruled on earth about 34,000 to 36,000 years ago.

In addition, Osmanagić claims that tunnels around the hill complex, which have been named Ravne tunnels, are an ancient man-made underground network. They are claimed to be 3.8 kilometres long in total.

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The Ravne Tunnels, Bosnian Pyramids

Osmanagić further claims to have found fossilized leaves in them dating back 34,000 years, as well as some prehistorically inscribed stones under the pyramid layers. Apart from these, in the underground labyrinth, in 2010, were discovered three chambers and a small blue lake.

Osmanagić supports a number of extraordinary claims, saying he discovered ‘standing waves’ at the top of the Sun Pyramid, the largest of the complex (hills). According to him, the waves travel faster than light and prove the existence of a ‘cosmic internet’ that allows for intergalactic communication. He also promotes the idea of ancient astronauts, and believes that human beings might be the product of genetic engineering.

Criticisms of Osmanagić’s discoveries

Though Osmanagić and his team have conducted independent research and studies on the site through various cutting-edge scientific ways, all the scientific investigations led by main-stream researchers have concluded that the Visočica hill and the surrounding hills are nothing but the natural geological formations known as flatirons.

The Flatirons rock formations, near Boulder, Colorado.

A flatiron is a steeply sloping triangular landform created by the differential erosion of a steeply dipping, erosion-resistant layer of rock overlying softer strata. Flatirons have wide bases that form the base of a steep, triangular facet that narrows upward into a point at its summit.

According to the main-stream research and studies, the so-called ‘Bosnian Pyramids’ are composed of the same matter as other mountains in the Visoka region, layers of conglomerate, clay and sandstone. These are the main compositions of a flatiron rock formation.

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Conglomerate Formations © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The conglomerate is a concrete-like natural structure formed by the consolidation and lithification of gravel, a loose aggregation of rock fragments. Conglomerates typically contain finer-grained sediments, such as sand, silt, clay or combination of them, called matrix by geologists, filling their interstices and are often cemented by calcium carbonate, iron oxide, silica, or hardened clay.

Archaeologists claim this to be a complete hoax by self-claimed archaeologist Semir Osmanagić, in order to secure funding and drive tourism to Bosnia after the devastating events of the Bosnian War in the 1990s.

Even, there are many of the main-stream researchers, who have accused Osmanagić of promoting pseudo-scientific notions and damaging valuable archaeological sites with his excavations.

Amar Karapuš, a curator at the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, said, “When I first read about the pyramids I thought it was a very funny joke. I just couldn’t believe that anyone in the world could believe this.”

Garrett Fagan of Penn State University is quoted as saying, “They should not be allowed to destroy genuine sites in the pursuit of these delusions… It’s as if someone were given permission to bulldoze Stonehenge to find secret chambers of lost ancient wisdom underneath.”

Enver Imamović of the University of Sarajevo, a former director of the National Museum of Sarajevo, concerned that the excavations will damage historic sites such as the medieval royal capital Visoko, said that the excavations would “irreversibly destroy a national treasure.”

Excavations in the summer of 2008 by archaeologists who are not related to Osmanagić’s Foundation uncovered medieval artifacts, which led to renewed calls for the government to cancel Osmanagić’s digging permits.

A former employee, Nadija Nukić, told a Bosnian newspaper that carvings on stones that Osmanagić characterizes as dating from ancient times were not present when the stones were first uncovered. They were later inscribed by Osmanagić’s team. Osmanagić has denied this statement.

Archaeologists have also criticized 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.”

Archeologist Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, also believes that the “Pyramids of Bosnia” are nothing more than the natural mountains. He further said that Osmanagić was totally wrong to claim that the Mayan civilization of Mesoamerica originated in Atlantis or the Pleiades constellation.

Does the new LiDAR scan of the Bosnian Pyramid Complex prove main-stream researchers wrong?

In March 2015, a LiDAR (Light-radar) satellite scan was made of the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids in the Visoko, Bosnia area. LIDAR scans provide a detailed topographical picture of the area scanned.

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Measurements using LiDAR technique can create separate layers of images, showing the the forest cover and the vegetation-free ground surface or a few metres underneath the ground of the site.

LiDAR is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3-D representations of the target. It has terrestrial, airborne, and mobile applications.

The first LiDAR scan image of the Visoko area, finally available as of July 6, 2016, shows clear evidence of enormous ancient artificial structures underneath the entire valley.

The visibly predominant features of these ancient structures are smooth pyramidal, and their faces are oriented to the cosmic north or true north. True north is the direction along Earth’s surface towards the geographic North Pole or True North Pole.

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March 2015 LiDAR scan of the Bosnian Pyramid Complex.
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March 2015 LiDAR scan of the Bosnian Pyramid Complex, with text labels.

The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun has the best-documented orientation to the cosmic north of any pyramid on the planet thus far analyzed.

According to the Bosnian Institute for Geodesy, the deviation from cosmic north of the gigantic clay, claystone, sandstone, and concrete pyramid in Visoko, Bosnia known as the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun, is:

  • 0 degrees, 0 minutes, 12 seconds

In comparison, the deviation from the cosmic north of the Great Pyramid is:

  • 2 degrees, 28 minutes, 0 seconds

Thus, the orientation of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun to cosmic north is 12.33 times more accurate than the orientation of the Great Pyramid.

The Bosnian Pyramids tourism

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Way to the Visoko Town. The Bosnian Pyramids Tour.

Though Osmanagić’s claims have been overwhelmingly refuted by scientists, he has proceeded to promote the area as a tourist attraction. Local authorities have funded his excavations, and authorized visits to the ‘pyramids’ by school children, with guides telling them the hills are part of their Bosnian heritage. The site has now become a popular tourist destination. Every year, thousands of travellers and enthusiasts crowd the site.

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Bosnian Pyramids Tourism

Another interesting and amazing location is Stone Ball Park. Stone balls are found all around the world and are usually associated with pyramids. A few years ago, the biggest stone ball in the world was found in the area. To say, it’s a very different place with interesting, unusual and strange attractions.

Strange Stone sphere, Vosoko Region, Bosnia
Strange Stone sphere, Vosoko Region, Bosnia © Image Credit: Alensha (public domain)

The entire Sarajevo region is filled with natural beauties like wonderful lakes and waterfalls, picturesque valley, hills, forests and underground river, and the Gorgeous Old Bridge, under UNESCO protection over the river Neretva. Here’s the official site to book a trip to Bosnian Pyramid Valley.

Final words

There are different arguments around how the pyramids of Bosnia were built or are they even pyramids or not. The three most used arguments are:

  • The first one is that the pyramids were built from ground up, just like all other pyramids were built in Egypt and South America.
  • The second one is that the pyramids were previously the hills, but shaped to be artificial structures.
  • And the last one is that all these pyramids are made of delusional belief which are nothing more than some natural geological rock formations in reality.

We believe that all these arguments are plausible so it’s very difficult to nail one down. Natural hills or ancient pyramids whatever it is, these strangely stood edgy hills of Visoko are so wonderful that they can magnetize any curious person to step in with their own conspiracy theories.

Sam Osmanagić believes, in the near future, further research will prove his theories absolutely true. If this really happens then it will force historians to rewrite the history again. “We laugh at the people who said that the world was flat, and they laughed at Galileo,” Osmanagić said. “The history books will just have to be rewritten from scratch, that’s all.”