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 UNESCO scientists to investigate "Ice Age pyramid"
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15821 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  19:57:09  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Archaeology.org has this follow-up article on the question of the purported Bosnian "pyramids," allegedly built by an Ice Age "supercivilization." It seems now that UNESCO has been sucked into giving these bizarre claims an aura of legitimacy, by its plan to send a team of archaeologists to the site:
quote:
Bosnian "Pyramids" Update, June 14, 2006

by Mark Rose

Growing questions and increasing criticism, geological grandstanding, UNESCO, and more


Media reports reflect the ebb and flow of the Bosnia pyramid story. May 17: an Egyptian geologist says it's a primitive pyramid, contradicting a Bosnian geology team that at the beginning of the month declared it a natural hill. June 5: politics trumps science and UNESCO says it will investigate. June 9: Anthony Harding drops by and leaves unimpressed, saying there's no evidence it's an archaeological site.

One might have thought that the Ice Age Bosnian pyramid story would collapse like a bad soufflé, but no. Mainstream media has become somewhat more critical of stories emanating from Visoko, but much of the real work in dissecting the claims has appeared on blogs and message boards, such as The Hall of Ma'at (see "Pseudoscience in Cyberspace"). Unfortunately, the mainstream folks haven't picked up on much of this. Meanwhile, the professional community has become more outspoken, notably with a recent field trip to the site by Anthony Harding, who is president of the European Association of Archaeologists, and in response to a proposed UNESCO mission to the site.

First off, by way of summarizing it all, we are still awaiting any credible evidence that these hills are man-made pyramids and that they date to the end of the Ice Age. That's the big claim, and the burden of proof is on those making it. Semir Osmanagic says, "It's such a huge construction undertaking that the only answer is, yes, this is the work of a supercivilization" (see "Pyramid Scheme" in the July/August issue of ARCHAEOLOGY; abstract here). But where are the artifacts? Where are the settlements in which the people lived? Where are the dates?

"Not any evidence at all has been found," says Harding, quoted by the Associated Press. "I've seen the site, in my opinion it is entirely natural." But the same article, widely carried with slight variations (here is one example), still describes Osmanagic as "the amateur Bosnian archaeologist who has been investigating Latin American pyramids for 15 years." The conclusions reached by him, that the Maya originally came from outer space, identify the kind of researcher Mr. Osmangic is, but that's ignored by the reporter.

The AP story also recycles the opinions of one Aly Abd Alla Barakat, said to be a geologist from the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority and familiar with his country's pyramids. His assessment: "My opinion is that this is a type of pyramid, probably a primitive pyramid." So, the "supercivilization" was apparently only able to come up with a "primitive pyramid." It's worth looking a bit closer at Barakat's conclusions, or at least the statements made by him. I haven't seen anything that resembles an official report, though according to a June 12 Agence France-Presse story "Barakat said that he had sent a report on the site to one of the world's leading Egyptologists, Zahi Hawass, who had recommended him to the foundation leading the excavation work." (I have not been able to confirm the claim he was recommended by Hawass.) In a Reuters report back on May 17, Barakat is said to have identified "sand layers" between the stones unearthed at Visoko as being "the same type of artificial cement used in ancient Egyptian pyramids." The AFP story quotes him as saying, "The white stuff I found between the blocks could be a glue. It is very similar to that we have found in the Giza pyramids." Glue? We seem to be operating in the fog of translation here, but surely a geologist familiar with the pyramids at Giza would know that the ancient Egyptians used gypsum mortar, sometimes gobs of it, to fill in between stone blocks.

So Harding, an archaeologist, says it's natural. Barakat, supposedly a geologist familiar with pyramids, says it's a "primitive pyramid." If only a group of eminent geologists familiar with this area would visit the site. Perhaps they could sort it all out. Oh, wait, actually they did already. There's a FENA (Bosnia and Herzegovina's Federal News Agency) report on an examination of the "pyramid" by professors from the Faculty of Mining and Geology at the University of Tuzla. This was apparently done in early May at the behest of Osmanagic's foundation, Archaeological Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun. Conclusions? According to team leader Sejfudin Vrabac, it's a natural geological formation and there are dozens of similar formations in the Sarajevo-Zenica mining basin alone.

The FENA story about the geologists has been posted on a couple of websites. You can view it at Bosnian Pyramids: Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Atlantis by Alun Salt, a Ph.D. student in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester University. Salt combines his own observations with links to source documents about the "pyramids." For example, he cites different accounts that state the height of the main "pyramid" is 70 meters, 100 meters, or even 220 meters. Then he notes that, if its sides are each 365 meters long, as claimed, simple geometry dictates that the height must be 182.5 meters. So how big is the supposed pyramid? Apparently we haven't figured that out yet. That or it changes size from time to time.

Another question that has come up on messages boards is, who are the various experts that are cited as participating in the project? Salt has some of that information, specifically about archaeologists Grace Fegan, from Ireland, and Royce Richards, from Australia. They are both named on a January 18 press release from the project: "Participation has been confirmed by the following archeologists: Grace Fegan, a leading Irish archeologist, Royce Richards from Austria, together with other archaeologists from the University in Innsbruck, Glasgow and Ljubljana." But the facts are different. Neither is involved with the site. Neither ever went to the site. There are, apparently, other examples of this, such as Allyson McDavid (USA) and Chris Mundigler (Canada). And there is at least one example, too, of a person named as a participant who has proved untraceable. (This is why I view with some skepticism references to Zahi Hawass in conjunction with Barakat.)

Archaeologists and geologists are convinced that the hills are just hills, and the information put out by the project is demonstrably inconsistent or self-contradictory or misleading. What's the next logical step? "We shall send a UNESCO expert team to Visoko to determine exactly what it is all about," says UNESCO Secretary General Koichiro Matsuura in a June 5 Reuters story quoting him from an interview in the newspaper Dnevni Avaz. The Deutsche Presse-Agentur about this explains that "The chairman of Bosnia-Herzegovina's rotating presidency, Sulejman Tihic, met with UNESCO director-general Koichiro Matsuura in the Croatian coastal town of Opatija...Tihic informed Matsuura about progress at the site in the town of Visoko where the structure was found and Matsuura promised to send soon a group of UNESCO archaeological experts to investigate the find."

You might think that archaeologists would welcome the arrival of UNESCO on the scene. But that's not the case. Why? Because association of UNESCO's name with the site lends credence to Osmangic's claims. In fact, a letter signed by dozens of archaeologists (including myself) was sent to UNESCO in hopes of forestalling that. Bosnian archaeologists and geologists agree that the hills are not Ice Age pyramids. European and American archaeologists agree. What can UNESCO add? Nothing. What's the cost? Ongoing "excavation" threatens real sites, diverts funds that could be used elsewhere (whether in cultural preservation or social programs), and continues to mislead the public. Bosnia deserves better.

. . .




Like the Bigfoot museum exhibit in Idaho, the dispatch of scientists to look for Bigfoot in Malaysia, and the promotion of "lake monsters" all over the world, I suspect claims about these "pyramids" are ultimately tourism-driven.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 06/22/2006 19:58:43

Siberia
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Brazil
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Posted - 06/23/2006 :  05:56:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
... and then they'll find it has been planted there by the Yautja to perform their blood ceremony, but the Xenomorph queen has built its nest there and the poor scientists will be the first to die...!

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15821 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2006 :  06:13:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Siberia

... and then they'll find it has been planted there by the Yautja to perform their blood ceremony, but the Xenomorph queen has built its nest there and the poor scientists will be the first to die...!

Great, Sib! Now, that would even be cooler than proving the the existence of Ice Age supercivilization pyramids! I wanna see that video at MyTube!

BTW, my own guess is that if any very, very early, pre-known-civilization-civilization is ever discovered, it's likely to be found under the sands of the Sahara, where signs of huge extinct river systems have been identified by NASA remote sensing satellites. And such a possible lost civilization would not be a "supercivilization," whatever that is.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Siberia
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Brazil
2316 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2006 :  08:08:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by HalfMooner

quote:
Originally posted by Siberia

... and then they'll find it has been planted there by the Yautja to perform their blood ceremony, but the Xenomorph queen has built its nest there and the poor scientists will be the first to die...!

Great, Sib! Now, that would even be cooler than proving the the existence of Ice Age supercivilization pyramids! I wanna see that video at MyTube!

BTW, my own guess is that if any very, very early, pre-known-civilization-civilization is ever discovered, it's likely to be found under the sands of the Sahara, where signs of huge extinct river systems have been identified by NASA remote sensing satellites. And such a possible lost civilization would not be a "supercivilization," whatever that is.


Otherwise it probably wouldn't be lost
And I do look forward for the results of that excavation. Or the death of all poor archeologists and the world domination by the Xenomorphs.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2006 :  09:54:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
I for one dont see why this is an issue, it seems like they are being dismissed out of hand because they are not Indiana Joneses. Just check it out and see whats up. This is not like bigfoot at all, its there, it can be tested and proven positive/negative and we can move on.

Its not like the archeology community hasnt been very wrong many times previously with El Dorado, Shang-ri-la, Troy and on and on.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15821 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2006 :  15:57:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
I think the main issue is that real archaeologists would have had to produce a great deal of peer-reviewed evidence to get any attention from UNESCO. But one very noisy pseudo-scientist has succeeded, without providing any evidence at all, in getting UNESCO to send a team of scientists to look into his claims.

The days of Schliemann and Indiana Jones-style unscientific graverobber-archaeologists are mostly long past. Were I an archaeologist who had spent meticulous years finding evidence of some previously unknown culture, and was seeking funds to launch a full-scale dig, I might indeed resent seeing limited archaeology resources going down some flim-flam man's rat-hole.

Somewhere, some poor schmuck of an archaeologist, by being a sucker and playing by scientific rules, just lost potential funding to someone who knows how to play the crowd. Other than that, no problem.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 06/24/2006 02:19:26
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2006 :  05:01:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
I dont see anything about a full scale dig, there is a difference between sending a team to investigate and full unesco funding, they will poke and prod, then say its BS and move on, thus depriving Mr. not a scientist of his fame.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15821 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2006 :  13:53:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Let me state my opinion this way:

I'm as much a qualified archaeologist as is Semir Osmanagic.

If I claimed I'd found the bones of Jesus riding a tyrannosaurus, but provided no evidence besides a photo of a mound of dirt, I could not expect UNESCO to spend any amount of money to send an international team of archaeologists to investigate my claim, however briefly.

UNESCO should not encourage con men like Semir Osmanagic, with his claims of an Ice Age "supercivilization's" pyramid. Especially by spending very limited archaeological money. Local Bosnian archaeologists have already looked at the site and found nothing of interest. Semir Osmanagic will find some way to spin this to his advantage, even if the UNESCO team reports finding nothing. Meantime, some amount of archaeological funds have been misspent, and somewhere scientific digs will get that much less funding.



Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
24783 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2006 :  19:01:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
That's precisely why, in matters scientific, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. There are folks, for example, who think that the government should fund double-blind studies of every oddball medical claim, since most of the people making such claims don't have enough money to do the appropriate testing themselves.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15821 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2006 :  08:23:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Further follow-up: Zhawi Hawass, Egypt's familiar chief archaelogist, has released a scathing statement about the Bosnian "pyramid." Here's that letter, in .PDF format.

Meanwhile, Archaeology's Web site has this further update:
quote:
More on Bosnian "Pyramids" June 27, 2006
by Mark Rose

In "Bosnian 'Pyramids' Update," which was posted on June 14, 2006, I commented on the news stories concerning geologist Aly Abd Alla Barakat, who was said to be from the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority. According to the stories, Barakat declared that the hill was indeed a pyramid, though a "primitive" one. Was Barakat there officially? What was his expertise? The news stories said that he was "sent by Cairo" (Reuters, June 5) and that he was an "expert in pyramids" (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, June 2). Barakat, we were told, had sent his report to Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, who had "recommended him to the foundation leading the excavation work" (Agence France-Presse, June 12). Taking it all together, you might believe that Barakat had been dispatched by Dr. Hawass. Could that be true?

Unable to confirm any of this, I asked Dr. Hawass directly. Concerning Barakat, he states: "Mr. Barakat, the Egyptian geologist working with Mr. Osmanagic, knows nothing about Egyptian pyramids. He was not sent by the SCA, and we do not support or concur with his statements." The supposed pyramid, Dr. Hawass says, is "evidently a natural geologic formation" and that "Apart from its general outline, this hill bears absolutely no resemblance to the Egyptian pyramids." He concludes that, "Mr. Osmanic's theories are purely hallucinations on his part, with no scientific backing."

. . .

Meanwhile, Canadian archaeologist Chris Mundigler, whose name had been mentioned as a foreign expert scheduled to work on the "pyramid" excavation, has written to ARCHAEOLOGY, saying that he does not endorse and never agreed to work on the project.

The latest news story from Bosnia quotes two volunteers (said to be archaeologists): "We still don't know about the date, we don't have any artefacts, we don't know who and why built up this construction. We don't know what kind of construction it is." Perhaps those digging are now backing away from the 12,500-year-old pyramid claim.

Mark Rose is Online Editorial Director, Archaeological Institute of America.





Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 06/29/2006 09:44:22
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Paulos23
Skeptic Friend

USA
446 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2006 :  09:54:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Paulos23's Homepage Send Paulos23 a Private Message
OT

quote:

I reject your reality, and substitute my own. -- Adam Savage



I love that quote. :)

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15821 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2006 :  14:14:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Paulos23

OT

quote:

I reject your reality, and substitute my own. -- Adam Savage



I love that quote. :)

Thanks, Paulos. That quote came into my head the other day, when I was thinking that such a statement was essentially rudeonline's entire argument in that person's recent, mystic anti-Relativity posting.

But I couldn't remember who'd said it. Finally, I realized that my memory of the quote was stored in the form of a mental "sound-byte." Examining that sound-byte, I recognized Adam Savage's voice from "Mythbusters." Odd how the brain works, or at least my brain. I wonder what type of sound compression format the brain uses.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2995 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2006 :  14:31:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send pleco a Private Message
quote:
I wonder what type of sound compression format the brain uses.


Whatever it is, I'm sure some company will claim a patent on it and expect royalties from every human, alive or dead.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15821 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2006 :  15:06:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by pleco

quote:
I wonder what type of sound compression format the brain uses.


Whatever it is, I'm sure some company will claim a patent on it and expect royalties from every human, alive or dead.

And then they'll turn to suing parrots.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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