Friday, April 14, 2006

Short Friday Archaeology Blogging

We gots pyramids!!!!!!

Indiana Jones of the Balkans and the mystery of a hidden pyramid
By Nick Hawton in Visoko, Bosnia

DRIVE 20 miles northwest of Sarajevo through the mountains of central Bosnia and you enter the broad Visoko valley, dissected by the meandering Bosna River. Beyond the river sits the town of Visoko, watched over by its minarets. And beyond Visoko rises an extraordinary triangular hill, 700ft (213m) high and looking for all the world like an ancient pyramid.

"Pyramid" can be one of those "wince" words for archaeologists, because mentioning it does tend to bring out the strangeness. The fact that we have pyramids in both the old and new worlds has prompted a large number of people who ought to know better to suggest that they were built by the same cultures. This misses the point. A pyramid is an extremely logical and stable shape for a large construction, being wider at the bottom than it is at the top, and the mere fact that multiple cultures built them is not proof that those cultures were talking to each other.

Anyway, to return to our Bosnian pyramid. There's been no real evidence brought forward for what sort of date it might have (although ludicrous numbers like 12,000 years ago are being hurled around), which is not a good sign for the overall professionalism of the excavation. Nor, indeed, has there been any concrete proof that it's actually a pyramid rather than, say, a bunch of tunnels cut into a pre-existing hill. However, it is unquestionably something, and a pretty damned impressive something at that.

1 comment:

the rev. said...

You have been tagged, and I bet your habits are not as weird as mine.