The New Pyramid Age 

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Unearthing Europe’s Oldest Pyramid Complex

Philip Coppens

 

The Pyramid of the Sun

In the past two years we have seen the pages of history slowly being rewritten, and Bosnia may soon lay claim to having the world's oldest pyramids—which shouldn't come as a surprise, seeing the area has the oldest European civilisation as well.

A new pyramid paradigm

Over the past 10 years, the old paradigm that pyramids could only be found in Egypt and Central America has been substituted by a new perspective, which is that pyramids are a global phenomenon and have been built by numerous civilisations in several ages. The Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico is now regarded as the largest, though not the tallest, and the pyramid complex at Caral in Peru is the oldest, conservatively dated to 3100 BCE. Most of these findings have received little to no media attention, and even many historians are unaware of these new facts. But one new pyramid complex has been in many headlines, even making appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: the Bosnian pyramids.

What was described by Stewart as the best thing to happen to Bosnia "since…ever" began in 2005, when Bosnian-born entrepreneur Semir "Sam" Osmanagic was shown the enigmatic Visocica hill that rises above the town of Visoko, near the capital Sarajevo. Could this be a pyramid? Osmanagic decided to invest in a preliminary geological survey, which concluded that further exploration of the structure was recommended. Furthermore, when his own book on the Mayan pyramids fell open on a page showing a photograph of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, Mexico, Osmanagic thought the resemblance to be so similar that he decided to call Visocica "Pyramid of the Sun", too, and the name has stuck. With this, the otherwise tranquil Visoko has become one of the most controversial archaeological sites in the world—controversial because just about everyone involved in pyramid research has given an opinion on the subject.

Geologist Dr Robert Schoch, who adheres to the theory that the Sphinx is thousands of years older than accepted, said he believes the structures to be natural formations. Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, had to give his opinion as well, committing a number of faux pas along the way. For example, when Dr Hawass was asked by Osmanagic to provide the name of an expert, he offered Dr Ali Barakat. A geologist, Dr Barakat meticulously investigated the structures for 42 days in 2006 and concludes that they are man-made. However, Dr Hawass pretended afterwards that he'd had nothing to do with the Bosnian saga!

Dr Barakat is not alone in speaking in favour of the man-made nature of Visocica and other apparent pyramids nearby. Archaeologist Dr Nabil Mohamed Swelim, holder of three PhDs and the discoverer of four pyramids in Egypt, visited the structures in September 2007 and he, too, concludes that they are man-made "pyramid hills", as distinct from pyramids. A pyramid hill is a natural hill that is artificially enhanced to conform to the pyramid structure, whereas a pyramid is built from the bottom up.

There is also a growing and impressive list of scientists—mostly from Egypt, Eastern Europe and Russia—who conclude that these structures are man-made. But their voices, specifically in the western media, have gone unheard.

Indeed, the First International Scientific Conference, Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids (ICBP), held on 25–30 August 2008, received minimal exposure despite the participation of the likes of Dr Alaa Shaheen, archaeologist and Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology at Cairo University, Dr Hassan El-Saady, historian and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Alexandria University, Dr Mostafa El-Abbadi, founder of the modern library in Alexandria (the Bibliotheca Alexandrina) and Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Aly, Egyptologist and archaeologist in the Faculty of Arts at Ein-Shams University, Cairo. Instead, the few reports in the western media focused on the critics, who labelled the conference "pseudo-scientific". What equally was not reported is that invitations from Dr Swelim to the critics to attend were ignored by those critics.

A scientific crusade

Sam Osmanagic

The most avowed critic of the Bosnian pyramids in the western world is archaeology professor Anthony Harding, of the University of Exeter, UK. He voiced his opinion on the matter as early as April 2006, and drove around the town of Visoko for a few minutes in June that year, afterwards labelling the Visocica pyramid a natural formation. One might therefore think that the good professor had then moved on to other fields, but no.

Immediately after the ICBP in August 2008, Professor Harding approached some of those who made the official conclusion/ recommendation (which is that the site requires and warrants continued excavation), stating that the archaeological establishment has "condemned" the Bosnian pyramids as "a fraud". Harding has never put any hard scientific facts on any table to support such a serious allegation. In the program for the European Association of Archaeologists September 2008 Malta conference, he summed up the discovery as the "Bosnian pyramid fiasco", which "has drawn attention to the way in which the creation of fictitious pasts can be used for political and nationalist ends". Still, if Harding is so convinced that the pyramids are fraudulent, then why waste time pursuing the story let alone approaching some of the attendees?

For this article, we contacted Professor Harding for comments but he did not reply. In previous interviews, however, he made it clear that he had an "opinion" about these pyramids before going to Visoko.

It is also clear that Harding, as the president of the European Association of Archaeologists, sees himself as the leader of a scientific crusade against so-called "pseudo-archaeology"—the Bosnian pyramids project being one of the few crusades he is able to wage, with Osmanagic as the sinner who goes against God's commands.

So why all of this controversy? As with any discovery, and especially the resultant publicity, exaggerated claims are made—or fabricated—by the media. Indeed, in this case, early media reports claimed that the structures are 12,000 years old, whereupon the sceptics immediately tried to argue that this claim had been made by Osmanagic himself. Some observers even argued that the pyramids are extraterrestrial in origin. Such statements seem to have shocked Professor Harding the most, and he holds Osmanagic responsible for them all.

Further insights into the controversy came from American historian Merima Bojic, who at first extensively interviewed leading protagonists on both sides of the debate and later offered her full support for Osmanagic's Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation. In a blog of 23 April 2008, titled "Aliens to Science", she wrote especially in regard to the western scientific media's handling of the pyramids issue:

"Now, American journalists such as Colin Woodard and John Bohannon have also joined this opposition and published false articles about Mr Osmanagic. Woodard referred to Visoko as a nationalistic enclave of the Bosnian Muslims and seemingly tried to connect Mr Osmanagic to such a nationalistic movement as well. He falsely claimed that Dr Barakat and Dr Schoch measured the pyramids and concluded that they fail to perfectly align with the cardinal points. The truth is that the Geodetic Institute of Bosnia–Herzegovina conducted its own analysis and found that they did in fact align with the cardinal points. Woodard himself also attempted to intimidate Dr Swelim and had the audacity to email the definition of 'pyramid'. Bohannon, who writes for the prominent Science magazine, was also an author of false articles that were so bizarre they do not even merit mention. How, it may occur to one, does Bohannon come to write for such a well-respected and prominent magazine devoted to scientific fact while all information he gathers comes directly from the gossip journalist [Vuc] Bacanovic? Not surprisingly, Woodard does the same."

Vuc Bacanovic, in the gossip magazine Dani, called Dr Swelim "senile" and "a fool"—terms which are seldom used in scientific debates.

In short, one group of people has decided to quickly rule out the possibility that these structures are man-made. These people now go to extremes in trying to preserve their names, reputations and beliefs. They pretend this is not happening and they hope it will go away. Alas for them, but fortunately for everyone else, that is unlikely to be the case.

A forgotten civilisation

Visoko is within the catchment area of what Lithuanian–American archaeologist Dr Marija Gimbutas (1921–94) labelled "Old Europe", a civilisation also known as the Vinca culture. This culture is dated to roughly 6000–3000 BCE, and many believe that it inspired other cultures, including the Sumerian Ubaid period. Examples of Vinca statues have been found as far west as southern France. As recently as November 2007, archaeologists excavating a settlement in southern Serbia, believed to be at least 7,000 years old, announced that this civilisation had great expertise in creating bronze artefacts—a discovery that requires a radical re-dating of the Bronze Age.

Still, few have heard of the Vinca culture, and here, too, western bias might well come into play. Indeed, the old pyramid paradigm is not merely being held in place with sticky tape, but the notion that Sumer and Egypt were the cradles of civilisation is one that should have been thrown out of the history books many generations ago. In this instance, the personal crusade of Australian-born archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe (1892–1957) forced the Vinca culture to be seen as an outlying cultural entity influenced by more "civilised" forces. Childe's dogmatic stance and clout meant that the Vinca culture received only scant attention and today remains largely unknown.

Of direct relevance is the fact that Vinca artefacts have been found in the town of Visoko, and it is therefore a strong possibility that Old Europe may also have been a pyramid-building culture. This conclusion might seem surprising and novel, but in essence it shouldn't be controversial.

Investigating the pyramids' construction

2006 excavations on northern face of Pyramid of the Sun

So, what is the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids? The Pyramid of the Sun, which dominates the skyline over Visoko, has been the main focus of investigations. The structure does not merely look man-made, but with a height of 220 metres it is much higher than the Great Pyramid of Giza and thus would be the tallest pyramid in the world.

As is the case with the Great Pyramid, each side of the Visocica Pyramid of the Sun is perfectly aligned with the cardinal points. Indeed, as one approaches Visoko, it is hard to believe that it took until 2005 before someone seriously pondered the notion that the hill could be a pyramid. In fact, in 1984, one local author, Pavao Andelic, referred to Visocica as a "town pyramid", but nothing further was done to investigate the claim.

The bottom of the Visocica Pyramid has been built upon, and the streets of Visoko are extremely steep. Most interestingly, Osmanagic was told early on in his research that several home-owners in Visoko had wanted to build cellars but could not because of a cement-like layer hidden approximately one metre below the surface. During the civil war of the 1990s, it was reported that the hill resonated when hit by artillery fire: whereas artillery impact normally produced a sound that lasted one to two seconds, when it hit the hill it created a type of echo that lasted five to six seconds. It was clear that the hill had something unusual about it.

The most visited excavation site, about one-third of the way up the hill, has revealed the presence of large blocks of conglomerate between 50 and 100 centimetres below the surface. Similar excavations have been conducted on the other sides of the pyramid; in each case, a layer of this conglomerate has been found just below the surface. It has been suggested that the entire hill once had a six-metre-thick covering of conglomerate.

Just next to the main "tourist" site, however, the surface layer, comprising approximately 40–80 cm of sand, has been removed over a much bigger area to reveal a uniform, cement-like (conglomerate) coating. This coating leaves little doubt in the eyes of the visitor that it is indeed man-made. However, none of the sceptics has ever referred to this section; instead, they've focused on the much smaller and less interesting site nearby.

As mentioned, Egyptian geologist Dr Ali Barakat has concluded that these blocks are man-made. Moreover, laboratory analysis results from the Civil Engineering Institute of Tuzla, made public by geophysicist Dr Enes Ramovic in September 2006, have determined that the cement comprising these blocks had been poured in situ. In addition, a biology expert has maintained that the experiment of planting trees on the hill 40 years ago should be deemed a failure, as the tree roots have not been able to penetrate the conglomerate (cement) layer. He argued that this suggests the layer is man-made, as tree roots normally have no problem penetrating natural rock.

Furthermore, with renewed interest in Visocica, the ancient Bosnian city on its summit has recently been excavated. Here, it is clear that the layer of conglomerate (cement) found lower down the slope goes all the way to the top. Inside the structure, holes had been dug so that posts could be erected, either for roofs or for a mezzanine type of floor.

The western side of the pyramid was partially excavated by the Pyramid Foundation in 2006. Here, too, the team found large rectangular slabs just under the surface, as well as clearly man-made stone structures on the slope of the plateau. The overall impression is of a paved access plateau to the pyramid—a plateau which measures no less than 420 metres in length.

Work of a different nature on Visocica has been carried out by Russian scientist Oleg Khavroshkin, of the Schmidt Institute of Earth Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He performed a geophysical analysis between 20 July and 4 August 2007. These scans suggested "...the existence of hollow cavities below the ground. These inhomogeneities were registered at Vratnice, Pljesivica [Pyramid of the Moon] and the tunnels. In the vicinity of the well shaft at the Pyramid of the Moon, clusters of frequencies were observed, resulting probably from such nonhomogenous cavities." In short, potential chambers.
Dr Muris Osmanagic, one of Bosnia's most eminent mining engineers and professors (as well as the father of Sam Osmanagic), has concluded in his book, About the Cultural Layer of the Bosnian Pyramid Builders, that "...the only possible and rational solution is that the great Pyramid of the Sun was a natural hill (composed of clay marl), modified into a pyramid. In such a case, the coating layer of concrete blocks make[s] up 6.28 per cent of the body of the pyramid, composed of clay marl, or 2,6 mln m3 [2.6 million cubic metres], [on a par with] the volume of the Khufu Pyramid stone blocks. This was already within the realm of the possible for this then highly developed civilisation."

Finally, a bit of theatre was produced when historian Dubravko Lovrenovic, who heads the Bosnia– Herzegovina Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments, stated on federal public television that he would burn himself alive on top of Visocica if it turned out to be a pyramid! Later, he denied he'd ever said this, but with the help of Gavrilo Grahovac, the Federal Minister of Culture and Sports, he stopped all excavation on the Pyramid of the Sun—perhaps to make sure he didn't have to commit suicide in such a public manner?

More pyramid discoveries

Pyramid of the Moon

Indeed, there is more than one pyramid here. So far, possibly seven pyramids have been identified, though only two have been archaeologically explored. "Only" 190 metres high and situated lower in the valley is the Pyramid of the Moon. The foot of this pyramid has become a second showcase of the Pyramid Foundation's work. Here, excavations show a type of "floor" lying on sandstone, followed by a second layer in approximately one-metre-high steps. Nearby, the team probed the location where two faces of the pyramid meet and found a free-standing stone structure. It is but one fortuitous discovery in a series of enigmatic findings.

Extensive excavations on the top of the Pyramid of the Moon have revealed the same type of "flooring". Archaeologists uncovered a layer of topsoil with natural layers of sandstone below, but separating both is a thin layer of rectangular stone blocks that look similar in size to modern paving slabs. In substance, they look as if they were poured and laid side by side. Interestingly, some are broken, but these fractures are always random; their "original shape" is always rectangular. Whether they are natural or man-made remains a subject of intense debate, but, if natural, it is clear that this is one of the oddest geological formations on Earth, say leading geologists.

Austrian researcher Gabriele Lukacs has found that next to the Pyramid of the Moon, right on a bank of the Fojnica River, there is a quarry with an excellent example of perfectly cut sandstone blocks still sticking out of the quarry wall. That the sandstone blocks used in the pyramids were therefore cut by humans is the likeliest explanation.

2006 excavations on the Pyramid of the Moon

The Pyramid Foundation team has identified other potential sites of interest in the valley. One is the Pyramid of the Dragon, which together with the pyramids of the Moon and the Sun makes a perfect equilateral triangle when lines are drawn connecting the apex of each pyramid, each side having a length of 2,173 metres. No work has been carried out on this third potential pyramid due to the presence of land mines on its slope, but it is clear that nature rarely creates such perfect triangles—especially not when the structures consist of three-dimensional triangles: pyramids.

Furthermore, observations by engineer Goran Cakic have revealed that there is also a "solar show" occurring between the pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. On 21 June 2008, he observed that the shadow of the Pyramid of the Sun at noon formed a "parallel pyramid" of the same height next to the Pyramid of the Moon. Even more interesting is that on 20 August, between 18:30 and 19:30, the Pyramid of the Sun's shadow touched the entire Pyramid of the Moon. Coincidence, perhaps, but more likely design—perhaps part of a sacred light show that typifies many ancient cultures.
Opinions vary as to whether or not these hills are "pyramid hills" or natural, but, as previously mentioned, a substantial body of scientists now agrees that they have been artificially enhanced.

Exploring the tunnels

Such doubt, however, does not exist for the nearby tunnels. The town elders tell everyone who wants to hear that they used to enter various tunnels in and around Visoko as kids, walking through them from one side of the town to the other. When a factory was constructed near the river, large cavities had to be filled in with cement so that the premises could be built.

Another known tunnel is the Topuzovo Polje tunnel, which starts near the River Bosna but has been filled in with debris. But, according to historical accounts, this tunnel once led to the Pyramid of the Sun.

To date, two tunnel complexes have been properly explored. About two kilometres from the Pyramid of the Sun is Ravne, a tunnel system that so far has been mapped to a length of 300 metres. Here, the main tunnel has various offshoots, running at 45- or 90-degree angles. In the past, these side tunnels were blocked off with carefully positioned dry stone walls. Along the main passageway, several large, enigmatic stones have been discovered; their purpose remains a mystery. These stones contain a number of inscriptions suggestive of a language.

One side tunnel has stalagmites. Italian geologists Dr Dario Andretti and Dr Luciano Leoni have been able to conclude that these would have taken 2,600 to 2,900 years to form, which means the tunnel can be dated to at least 1000 BCE—and most likely is older. This date is of interest, for Dr Barakat's research indicates that approximately 3,000 years ago an earthquake damaged at least one face of the Pyramid of the Sun. Further evidence of such an earthquake is visible on the Pyramid of the Moon, where the stone "pavement" on the top shows obvious signs of folding. It is clear that, circa 1000 BCE, something happened that partially destroyed these structures, and this may explain why the Ravne tunnel complex has been filled in with sand and why other tunnels have collapsed.

A dry stone wall inside the Ravne tunnels, fencing off one of the numerous side tunnels

So far, excavations of the Ravne complex have brought some remarkable results. In May 2007, a stone mould for cast metal tools was found in the tunnels. Indeed, the Ravne complex shares several characteristics with prehistoric mines elsewhere, such as at Llandudno, Wales. There, too, side tunnels were blocked off by dry stone walls, and "enigmatic" stones sit along the length of these tunnels but, in this case, they were used in the mining process.

If the Ravne tunnel complex had indeed been a mine, then it is likely that its materials were used to create the cement coating of the Pyramid of the Sun. Even sceptic Katherine Reece has argued on the Internet that these tunnels are man-made—"ancient mining tunnels dating from as long ago as 3500 BC when the area was being mined for copper". It underlines that she accepts that there was human activity here at that time, though she is totally unwilling to entertain the notion that there is a pyramid nearby. However, mining experts from Zenica, Banovici and Kakanj have shown that there are no traces of minerals in these tunnels and that, hence, the tunnels could never have been copper mines.

Another opponent who has come around on the tunnels issue is historian and archaeology professor Dr Enver Imamovic, from the University of Sarajevo, who at first claimed that the tunnels are natural caves, even denying that there are side tunnels at 45 degrees—which he said was a lie perpetrated by Osmanagic—but he also stated that he had not visited them. In short, he was accusing someone of lying, though he himself could not verify anything whatsoever! Recently, though, he has accepted that these tunnels are not natural caves.

A tunnel of a different nature is the one that sits near the town's two rivers, below the grounds of the KTK factory. Here, the walls and ceilings are much more impressive and the layout itself more interesting. These tunnels are unfortunately highly unstable and prone to collapse and flooding, so little exploration has been carried out. But what is known is that the tunnel runs in the direction of the Pyramid of the Sun, dipping under the River Bosna in the very heart of the town. This, of course, suggests careful planning, but in ancient times such a construction was also an excellent means for preserving and safeguarding the underground complex from looters—so much so that, even today, exploring these tunnels remains more than perilous.

Not just pyramids and tunnels

In the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids, the tunnels so far have shown that humans were definitely doing something, and logic dictates that this work was connected with the pyramids. As such, the critics hardly ever focus on the tunnels; but when they do, it is with sweeping statements that try to mystify what is at heart not a complex issue at all.

Meanwhile, in September 2007, a team from the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina excavated the nearby site of Okoliste and concluded that, circa 4700–4500 BCE, around 3,000 people lived in the settlement—one of the largest ever found in Bosnia. This shouldn't be surprising, seeing that Visoko is known to have been one of Bosnia's most fertile lands and hence a cherished location for settlers. From the development of civilisations elsewhere, we know that such settlements often had a surplus workforce, which, like elsewhere, might easily have been used to start a building project—the Bosnian pyramids, perhaps?

There is therefore a substantial pool of evidence from which one can conclude that these hills have been artificially enhanced, and that there were "civilised people" present at the right time, in the right place, to have created these pyramids. However, it is equally clear that a smoking gun, which would convince anyone, remains to be found—but, equally, it might be just a spade's turn away.
In 2008, preliminary research at the neighbouring village of Ginje brought about some further, very interesting, discoveries. Near the village is a large hill, and next to it, in the valley below, a small tumulus. On both the top of the hill and the tumulus, perfectly rectangular stone slabs have been found that are on a par with similar slabs found on and near the pyramids.

Independent researcher Nenad Djurdjevic has noted in a report, available on the Pyramid Foundation's website: "A few years after World War II, from the roadside many of the megalithic blocks were still visible lying on the top of the hill and its flanks, but...a great number of them was gradually removed by villagers during later decades and used for the construction of foundations, walls and houses."

The remaining conglomerate blocks are of enormous size (approximately 2 m x 1 m x 1 m) and weigh about four tonnes. On the hill itself, it seems clear that these blocks once belonged to a stone structure on its summit. The tumulus in the valley below has two stone slabs lying next to each other; one is sandstone, the other conglomerate. The obvious conclusion is that people moved these two stone blocks next to one other.

In Donje Mostre, a number of rectangular stone blocks have also been found lining the road, and some are without any doubt man-made. On 23 September 2008, a team from the University of Kiel, Germany, found nearby a Neolithic artefact that has been dated to 6000–3000 BCE. The discovery was announced by Zilke Kujundzic, from the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is actually one of the main opponents of the pyramids project and has filed numerous petitions for the Foundation's work to be stopped, claiming that the entire project is a hoax. The small ceramic pyramid—in some reports also referred to as a "Benben stone" because of the apparent visual similarities with such stones in Egypt—is a major discovery, showing that local people, millennia ago, created ceramic objects in the shape of a pyramid.

Furthermore, pyramid-like objects have been found within Old Europe. Dr Gimbutas wrote in The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe (1974) about how the "...richly incised decoration on the Tisza altar from Kökénydomd [in southeastern Hungary] may relate to cosmogonical myths. Its triangular front is covered by meanders and divided into two levels by a horizontal band of meandering lines. In the centre of the lower register two eyes and a nose are set in a triangle... Groups of parallel lines, arranged in three, form panels along each side of the altar. The decorative organisation suggests several levels of cosmic waters..." In Egypt, for example, the Giza Plateau has been portrayed symbolically as the primeval hill which rose from the Waters of Chaos. Considering that the Tisza altar displays triangles (the two-dimensional rendering of the three-dimensional pyramid), this at the very least shows that Old Europe worked with the same cosmogonical material in its myths as the other pyramid-building cultures.

Finally, dowsing expert Adrian Incledon-Webber, of the British Society of Dowsers, has mapped the area and has drawn preliminary conclusions—namely, that the pyramids sit on top of important underground waterways, with three streams meeting under the apex of the Pyramid of the Sun. He stated in email correspondence with me: "All holy places attract water and then some are further enhanced by human intervention, i.e., encouraging further water to cross at specific points. The centres of stone circles, for instance, often have three streams crossing at their centre, too."
As elsewhere, so in Bosnia it seems.

A sacred landscape

From Ginje, there is a clear line of sight to the Pyramid of the Sun, which appears on the northern horizon. North has been linked to the World of the Dead, and in some cultures the sacred mountain to the north was sometimes called the Storehouse of the Dead.

Paul Devereux carried out detailed research into sacred landscapes for his book Symbolic Landscapes (1992). He relates how mythology and the landscape interact, and he gives the example of the so-called "song lines" of the Australian Aborigines. Devereux repeats what Yale University architectural historian Vincent Scully observed in The Earth, the Temple, and the Gods (1979): that there was an interaction between the temple and the surrounding landscape—something he noted in Crete as well as in Greece. To quote Devereux on Scully: "He felt that the ancient Greeks had 'developed an eye' for 'specific combinations of landscape features as expressive of particular holiness'."

On the Greek mainland, Mount Zara and the site of Mycenae form one of ancient Greece's most important citadels. As Devereux describes it, Mount Zara "appears in almost pyramidal form from the palace on the summit of the citadel". As with Mount Zara, so with Visocica.

That the sight line from the structures in Ginje towards the Pyramid of the Sun is not accidental is underlined by research carried out by Nenad Djurdjevic. He highlights that only from the top of the tumulus, which is only a few metres high, can the profile of the Pyramid of the Sun be seen. When one stands in front of the base of the tumulus, the pyramid is not visible. This suggests that the tumulus was specifically constructed here and raised to such height as to create a line of sight to the Pyramid of the Sun.

Within the context of sacred landscapes, the complex at Ginje revealed, during initial analysis, several key components that strongly suggest that the site is part of a sacred ancient landscape focusing on the Pyramid of the Sun. It means that the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids is therefore not only more extensive than previously thought, but equally it is more than likely a carefully constructed landscape, as initial observations (e.g., on the equidistance between the pyramids of the Sun, Moon and Dragon) have already indicated.

New dimensions and developments

So, all false perceptions and ego-trips aside, it is clear that the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids has much validity and will rock the old pyramid paradigm in years to come. But the research project will continue to be controversial for some time longer. What the Foundation needs is more time—just as it took Howard Carter several years before he located Tutankhamen's tomb. Progress is slow, but obvious.

In time, the Bosnian pyramids will not only be added to the new paradigm of pyramid structures that appear across the world, but they will also reveal a new dimension to the Vinca culture and show that the pyramids are European, rather than Egyptian, in nature. Either way, a new page is being added in the development of civilisation.

That the pyramids might provide a new dimension to the Vinca culture is a "cautious" approach. In fact, at ICBP 2008, British archaeologist Andrew Lawler and Polish physicist Dr Anna Pazdur presented their results from a radiocarbon-dating analysis done on a piece of wood recovered from the Ravne tunnels. Though they noted that it is a unique artefact (radiocarbon dating is preferentially done on several artefacts, not just one, so that a range of dates can be arrived at), they concluded that the piece of wood is 34,000 years old—which, in theory, could be the date when these pyramids were created. If true (and only further digging will tell), then the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids will not merely change an outmoded paradigm but completely shatter it.

Meanwhile, some are fighting to maintain the old paradigm, which is already a lost cause. The pyramid landscape has changed, and walking through Visoko one can see a glimpse of the future as well as a remnant of the ancient past.

This is the uncut version of the article published in NEXUS Magazine, vol. 16, no. 1 (December 2008-January 2009).