Pyramid in Bosnia -- Huge Hoax or Colossal Find?

May 12, 2006

He's been called a Balkan Indiana Jones. Others label him a dreamer, or worse, a pyramid buff with loony ideas.

Despite his critics (and he has many) Semir "Sam" Osmanagic believes he's discovered the find of a lifetime—a series of ancient pyramids in the heart of Bosnia.

If the Bosnian-American businessman is correct, the structures would be the first known step pyramids in Europe.

"I am 100 percent sure. There is no other option," the Houston, Texas-based Osmanagic said.

At the heart of Osmanagic's belief is Visocica hill, an undeniably pyramid-shaped mound near the town of Visoko, 18 miles (30 kilometers) northwest of Sarajevo (see a Bosnia and Herzegovina map).

Visoko, the former medieval capital of Bosnia, cradles a rich history, including Roman and Illyrian ruins and countless Neolithic artifacts.

"Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun"

Last month Osmanagic and his team began sinking a series of wells into the 700-foot-tall (213-meter-tall) hill, which Osmanagic renamed the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun.

The kick-off was observed by a clutch of onlookers, journalists, and—in what may be a first for such endeavors—contestants from the Miss Bosnia beauty pageant.

So far a mixed crew of volunteers and hired help has unearthed a network of tunnels along with what Osmanagic describes as ancient mortar and sandstone blocks shaped by human hands.

(See a related news photo: "Pyramid Discovered in Bosnia?").

He says the pyramid is at least 2,500 years old and may even date to the last ice age, which ended about 10,000 years ago.

Continued on Next Page >>




NEWS FEEDS     After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.   After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS

National Geographic Daily News To-Go

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.
Click here to get 12 months of National Geographic Magazine for $15.