Was This Giant Stone Sphere Crafted by an Advanced Civilization of the Past or the Forces of Nature?
The Bosnian Indiana Jones has come into contact with a giant stone sphere. Like the famous movie counterpart, this large object is also bringing excitement along with it. The stone sphere discovered in mid-March, 2016 in Bosnia may be the largest of its kind in the world, however there is much debate if the feature is man-made or natural. The stone ball was discovered in a forest in Podubravlje and has a radius of between 1.2 – 1.5 meters (3.9-4.9 ft.) Preliminary tests suggest that it could weigh over 30 tons, making it the most massive stone sphere in Europe.
A press release by Dr. Sam (Semir) Osmanagich, says that the materials have not yet been analyzed, however the “brown and red color of the ball point to very high content of iron.” With that in mind, his research has suggested quantities of 7,8 kg/c.c. of iron as a possibility – which would advance the weight of the stone sphere to over the estimate of 30 tons (which is based on a value of 5 kg/c.c.) That weight of the massive stone sphere could make it a contender for the heaviest stone ball in the World - surpassing those in Costa Rica (35 tons) and Mexico (40 tons).
Taking measurements of the stone sphere. (credit: Sam Osmanagich)
Apart from the large size of the sphere, Dr. Osmanagich discussed what this discovery could mean for the perceptions of past civilizations in the press release:
“First, it would be another proof that Southern Europe, Balkan and Bosnia in particular, were homes for advanced civilizations from the distant past and we have no written records about them. Secondly, they had [advanced] technology, different than ours. Finally, they knew the power of geometrical shapes, because the sphere is one of the most powerful shapes along with pyramidal and conical shapes. No wonder, that pyramids and tumulus phenomena can also be found in Bosnia.”
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Signs of natural sedimentation are found over the sphere as: a layer of sandstone plates, then clay, soil, and vegetation. Dr. Osmanagich asserts that “It takes tens, even hundreds of thousands of years for this sediment to form.” The Telegraph reports that “Dr. Osmanagich believes the sphere proves the existence of an advanced lost civilization dating back more than 1,500 years ago.”
There are critics of this hypothesis, including Mandy Edwards from the University of Manchester's School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. Edwards has argued for a different explanation for the phenomena:
“The sphere in fact, may not be man-made at all. Describing the process of 'concretion' […] the sphere could have been formed due to precipitation of natural mineral cement within the spaces between sediment grains.”
Leaving the question of the origins of the stone sphere aside for the moment, similar stone spheres have purportedly been discovered by Dr. Osmanagich and his team “in twenty different locations, either shaped or, in some instances, made from different materials. 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.”
Dr. Osmanagich said that there “used to be 80 of them in 1930s. In the meantime, some were taken by the river further down to the river Bosna, most of them have been destroyed in 1970s after rumors of gold being hidden in the middle of them, some were taken by locals and moved to their backyards. Only eight stone balls remained in what we established as Archaeological Park: Bosnian Stone Balls”. We’ve started promoting this location and it’s been visited by thousands of tourists every year.”
People visiting the giant stone sphere in Bosnia. (credit: Sam Osmanagich)
The press release that Dr. Osmanagich has been researching the ancient stone ball phenomenon for 15 years and has visited the “granite stone balls in southern Costa Rica, volcanic stone spheres in western Mexico, “coquina” stone balls in the small island in the Pacific - Isla del Caño, volcanic stone balls on Easter Island, some of them in Tunisia, and Tenerife on Canary Islands” and written about stone balls found in the Balkan region: northern Albania, province of Dalmatia in Croatia, and western Serbia.
Like the newly discovered sphere, there is much mystery surrounding the giant stone spheres of Costa Rica and their creation and purpose has been a hotly debated topic over the years. The spheres in Costa Rica were found while clearing a jungle in the 1940s. Almost all of them are made of granodiorite, a hard, igneous stone and many were seen as prized artifacts, although some were destroyed. Nevertheless, unlike the Bosnian counterpart, there has been little doubt that the Costa Rican spheres are anything but man-made.
This stone sphere is in the rooftop courtyard of the national museum or Museo Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica. It is part of the extensive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts at the museum. (CC BY SA 3.0)
This is not the first of Dr. Osmanagich’s controversial discoveries. He has been both acclaimed and criticized for his work that began in 2005 related to what he states are ancient pyramids in the Visoko Valley, “hidden in plain sight as a cluster of hills” and connected via a network of underground tunnels.
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The archaeologist has high hopes that the end of the Bosnian pyramids research will provide the world with astonishing results, “He believes once his research is complete, one of the pyramids will be shown to be taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt and the discovery will be the greatest find since Tutankhamen.” [via the Daily Mail]
Visočica hill in Bosnia. (CC BY SA 4.0)
Much like the recently discovered stone sphere, there is still much debate on the cause of the triangular formations that Dr. Sam Osmanagich began studying in 2005– are these features proof of a past advanced civilization or simply nature?
Even though his assertion on the pyramids has been questioned by some of his peers, the Bosnian government gave Dr. Osmanagich financial backing to enable excavations to be carried out in the region. Nedzad Brankovic, Bosnian Prime Minister at the time said: "We were told the world was laughing at us ... but there is no government in the world that should stay quiet on things which are positive."
Featured Image: A giant stone sphere has been found in a Bosnian forest, but is it natural or does it hint at an advanced civilization from the distant past? Source: Sam Osmanagich
By: Alicia McDermott