A Bosnian Pseudoarchaeologist Claims Giant Spheres Are Signs Of An Advanced Ancient Civilization

Trekking through an eastern European forest, a self-taught archaeologist is looking for something that is no doubt very strange to the untrained eye. In fact, he is specifically searching for what he claims is a signature of an ancient civilization: perfect spheres apparently composed largely of iron.

Convinced that an ancient civilization occupied his native Bosnia, Semir Osmanagi? has a story to tell. He’s explored the world looking at evidence of extinct cultures and says he has proof for his theory about his homeland.

However, this writer has a checkered history so far. When it comes to spheres found in Bosnia, for example, he doesn’t believe the accepted geological opinion that they are natural formations called concretions. On the contrary, he’s become obsessed with the idea that there is something really special locked inside these stones.

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Despite the controversy he is stirring, though, Osmanagi? is often referred to as the “Bosnian Indiana Jones.” Then again, he certainly looks the part. In photos of him in the forest, for instance, he’s wearing a leather jacket and bush hat.

But what of the apparently strange objects in which he’s so eager to find cultural significance? Well, one of the largest of the stones was recently discovered in a forest near the central Bosnian town of Zavidovici. And Osmanagi? is sure that the find only confirms his strongly held belief.

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Certainly, the stone is impressive and deserves the scientific study it is now undergoing. Indeed, it’s a fascinating find for specialists and laypeople alike. Various local people, for instance, turned out to see the excavation work.

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And these locals were greeted by quite a sight. Though it showed some signs of erosion on the surface, the stone was humongous. In fact, it was found to have a radius of nearly five feet, making it a historic find regardless of its origin.

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Moreover, because it is likely mostly composed of iron, the stone is suspected to be about 30 tons or more. That’s four times the weight of an adult elephant. And while similar spheres have been found in Costa Rica and Mexico, this object could challenge those discoveries, depending on exactly how much iron subsequent laboratory tests detect in the sphere.

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For his part, Osmanagi? was obviously excited by the find. Indeed, he considers it to be an important piece in the puzzle of ancient European civilizations. He claims, in fact, that an advanced but unknown civilization in the Balkans forged the stone more than 1,500 years ago.

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To try to prove his point, Osmanagi? has traveled the world looking at evidence of ancient civilizations. He’s also studied stone and volcanic spheres from Easter Island, Costa Rica’s Isla del Cano, Tunisia, Tenerife, Croatia and Serbia.

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But perhaps even more curious is Osmanagi?’s earlier claim that a hill in Bosnia where a medieval castle town called Visoki once stood was previously the site of three enormous ancient pyramids. Dubbed the Bosnian Valley of Pyramids, the phenomena have since collectively been described by writer Paul Von Ward as the “most exciting and most important archaeological place in the world.”

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Osmanagi?, meanwhile, has said that the purported pyramids in Visoko valley were built by “thousands of slave workers” for the Illyrians some 12,500 years ago. This would, incredibly, make them more than twice as old as the Egyptian pyramids. And, of course, if this were true it would dramatically change our understanding of ancient cultures.

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However, much of the hype around Osmanagi?’s claim – announced in 2005 – about the so-called pyramids now seems to be aimed at promoting tourism. And though the Bosnian government stepped in to grant Osmanagi? excavation rights and funding, no pyramid has actually been found – only the giant sphere.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, Osmanagi? has courted a fair amount of controversy over the course of his career, and he is essentially discounted by mainstream academics. For example, with regards to Osmanagi?’s pyramids, a Bostonian professor, Curtis Runnels, has said that 13,000 years ago the Balkan population were still living in caves – unable to build houses, never mind pyramids.

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Yet Osmanagi?’s spheres have received their share of criticism, too. Chief among these is the notion that they are actually natural formations – of which smaller, confirmed samples already exist.

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In fact, concretions such as these occur often in places where minerals build up around small nuclei of materials within the sediment. Still, these are more commonly found in much smaller sizes.

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But Osmanagi?’s opponents are not pulling any punches. Anthony Harding, president of the European Association of Archaeologists, called Osmanagi?’s pyramid theory “a total absurdity.” As quoted in Britain’s The Telegraph, Harding went on to say, “The speculation that there could be a 12,000-year-old structure beneath is a complete fantasy, and anyone with basic knowledge of archaeology or history should recognize that.”

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Osmanagi?, however, does not seem discouraged – or even, so it would appear, aware of his critics. As a matter of fact, he insists that his ideas have the power to change the way we see Europe.

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In a blog post, for example, he said that the spheres could revolutionize European history. As he wrote, “It would be proof that Southern Europe, Balkan and Bosnia in particular, were home for advanced civilizations from distant past.”

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Yet while it is important that tests are done on the spheres, the results may not be as revolutionary as Osmanagi? hopes. Then again, even if the stone spheres offer little in the way of proof, something tells us that Osmanagi?’s enthusiasm for ancient Bosnian civilizations having apparently built complex structures thousands of years ago won’t be tarnished one bit.

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