Visočia, the Bosnian Pyramid of Visoko – Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Atlas Obscura

Visočia, the Bosnian Pyramid of Visoko

Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Controversial site of what could be Europe's first pyramid. 


The “Bosnian pyramid” debate began on October 26, 2005, with an article in the Bosnian daily newspaper Dnevni Avaz, which was later translated to the BBC website. According to this article, there is in Bosnia, near the town of Visoko, a pyramid similar to the Egyptian ones, called by many, “Europe’s first pyramid.”

In April 2006 excavations began on the site, led by a Houston-based metalworker, Semir Osmanagić, who claims that the structures were most likely constructed by the Illyrians, and that the pyramid was therefore built between 12,000 and 500 BCE. The “pyramid,” at that moment, became a celebrity, received a name, Pyramid of the Sun, and began to multiply, as it is now talked about as the center of an entire “Valley of Pyramids.”

According to Osmanagić, there are four other ancient structures in the valley: the Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon, “Bosanska Piramida Mjeseca;” Bosnian Pyramid of the Dragon, “Bosanska Piramida Zmaja;” Bosnian Pyramid of the Love, “Bosanska Piramida Ljubavi;” and Temple of the Earth, “Hram Zemlje.”

Archaeological discovery of the century? The experts say probably not. Where Osmanagić sees all the elements of a ceremonial megastructure–four perfectly shaped slopes pointing toward the cardinal points, a flat top and an entrance complex–professional archeologists see an angular mound and an overactive imagination. Osmanagić’s critics accuse him of promoting pseudo-scientific notions and damaging a legitimate archaeological site–a medieval walled town sits atop the “pyramid”–with his excavations. Throughout all the negativity, Osmanagić remains determined to prove his case. The dig continues.

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