Giant Rock Sphere Linked to Mysterious Civilization?
A man known as Bosnia's Indiana Jones claims he found a 1,500-year-old giant sphere made by an ancient civilization.
Bosnia's "Indiana Jones" of archaeology claims to have found a massive, mysterious sphere embedded in the ground in a forest in Bosnia.
The controversial archaeologist, Semir Osmanagich, wrote in a blog that the sphere dates back more than 1,500 years and is "the most massive stone ball in Europe." He estimates the sphere weighs some 30 tons or more.
Osmanagich said he discovered the sphere in the village of Podubravlje, near Zavidovici, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and his estimates show it has a radius of between 1.2 to 1.5 meters (about 3 feet, 11 inches to about 4 feet, 11 inches).
He says the sphere, in addition to his earlier claims that Bosnia is home to hidden ancient pyramids linked by underground tunnels, prove the existence of an advanced, lost civilization.
"It would be another proof that Southern Europe, Balkan and Bosnia, in particular, were home for advanced civilizations from distant past and we have no written records about them," Osmanagich wrote in the blog post announcing the discovery for his non-profit group named The Archaeological Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation.
Other archaeologists have dismissed Osmanagich's previous claims about pyramid finds. Anthony Harding, President of the European Association of Archaeologists, described the claims as "complete fantasy."
According to the International Business Times, some archaeologists have already dismissed Osmanagich's sphere discovery saying that the rock was likely created naturally. Mandy Edwards of the University of Manchester's School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences told the Daily Mail that the rock was likely formed by the "precipitation of natural mineral cement within the spaces between sediment grains."
Could Osmanagich's new discovery be manmade?
Stone balls have been discovered around the world and linked to ancient civilizations. There are ancient volcanic stone spheres in western Mexico, stone balls in the small island in Pacific – Isla del Cano, volcanic stone balls on Easter Island, and others in Tunisia, and the Canary Islands.
Among the most famous of these finds are the more than 300 granite balls uncovered in Costa Rica. Each weighs up to 14 tons and were linked to the now extinct Diquis culture. In June 2014, the Stone Spheres of the Diquis was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Osmanagich stands by his theory that his recent find could represent the biggest, manmade stone ball of them all. He added that his team has located stone balls in several other locations in Bosnia.
"We found granite stone balls in the Teocak village in northeastern Bosnia, volcanic stone ball near town of Konjic in middle Bosnia and sandstone stone spheres in many locations in western and middle Bosnia," Osmanagich wrote.
In a passage that may prompt other researchers to further raise eyebrows at the find, Osmanagich added that dowsers (people who claim to use a type of divination to locate ground water, buried metals or other valuables) noted that the "aura field" around the giant, embedded sphere was strong.
"It seems that ancient did one more thing better than us," Osmanagich wrote. "They knew Planetary energies better, living in the harmony with our Mother Earth."
Suad Keserovic poses as he measures a stone ball in Podubravlje village near Zavidovici, Bosnia and Herzegovina April 11, 2016.
A row of huge stones stood some 4,000 years ago just two miles from Stonehenge, dwarfing the iconic stone circle. Dubbed "Superhenge," the site is five times bigger than the iconic stone circle and lies buried three feet beneath a thick, grassy bank at a Stone-Age enclosure known as Durrington Walls.
"We're looking at one of the largest stone monuments in Europe and it has been under our noses for something like 4,000 years," Vince Gaffney, chair in Landscape Archaeology and Geomatics at the University of Birmingham, said. "We don't think there's anything quite like this anywhere else in the world. This is completely new and the scale is extraordinary," he said. Gaffney announced the finding at the opening of the ongoing British Science Festival.
Image: Artist reconstruction of the standing stones at Durrington Walls.
Lesser known than Stonehenge, Durrington Walls was the site of a large Neolithic settlement and later a henge enclosure measuring 1,600 feet in diameter. It is surrounded by a ditch up to 57 feet wide and an outer bank about 131 feet wide and three feet high. The henge, thought to have been built around 4,500 years ago, surrounds several smaller enclosures and timber circles, yet no one had imagined it concealed the massive stone structure, as shown by the yellow circles in the picture.
Image: The route of the stone row (yellow circles) at Durrington Walls.
The massive prehistoric site was identified by the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes international team, led by Birmingham and Bradford Universities and Austria's Ludwig Boltzmann Institute. The five-year project, which is the largest geophysical survey ever undertaken, used advanced geophysical technologies such as powerful ground-penetrating radar, which can detect buried features to a depth of up to 13 feet.
Image: Running the radar near Stonehenge.
The remote sensing technologies revealed evidence of a row made up of 90 standing stones, some of which may have originally stood up to 15 feet high.
Image: Green circles show the position of the stone row.
At some point, the stones were deliberately pushed over and covered with a huge bank of earth and chalk, under which they still lie. "In the east up to 30 stones, measuring up to size of 15 feet, have survived below the bank whereas elsewhere the stones are fragmentary or represented by massive foundation pits," co-director Wolfgang Neubauer of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, said.
Image: A rendition of the superhenge after the stones were pushed over and buried under a bank of earth and chalk.
The archaeologists concluded that the huge stones were part of a C-shaped Neolithic arena that faced directly towards the Avon River. The finding, according to co-director Gaffney, has significant implications for our understanding of Stonehenge and its landscape setting. "Not only does this new evidence demonstrate a completely unexpected phase of monumental architecture at one of the greatest ceremonial sites in prehistoric Europe, the new stone row could well be contemporary with the famous Stonehenge sarsen circle or even earlier," Gaffney said.
Image: A rendition of the Durrington Wall's horseshoe.
It's not yet clear whether or not the buried stones will be excavated. "Archaeological excavations may play an important role in proving these findings. We will await any academic proposals and consider them," an English Heritage spokesman told The Guardian.
Image: The buried stones.
Previous intensive study of the area around Stonehenge had led archaeologists to believe that only the enigmatic stone circle and a smaller henge at the end of the Stonehenge Avenue had significant stone structures. The new findings show Stonehenge wasn't standing in splendid isolation on the edge of Salisbury Plain. On the contrary, it was the center of a large and rich ceremonial landscape. "Everything written previously about the Stonehenge landscape and the ancient monuments within it will need to be re-written," Paul Garwood, the principal prehistorian on the project at the University of Birmingham, said.
Image: A close up of stone circle at Stonehenge.