Monday, May 15, 2006

Noah's Ark or Bosnian Pyramids?

Ok, I've been letting this Bosnian Pyramid thing slide because Hot Cup of Joe and Science & Politics have already commented and provided additional de-bunking links. It's clearly not professional archaeology. Although apparently that doesn't matter as the media seems to ascribe a high degree of credibility to the term "amatuer", at least when it comes to archaeology. From the NY Times article cited above:

Mr. Osmanagic, an amateur archaeologist, is convinced that he has discovered a huge ancient pyramid that will rewrite the history of Europe

There can be no such thing as an "amateur" archaeologist, anymore than there can be amateur surgeons or amateur nuclear physicists. Granted, they won't kill people if they screw up, but the magnitude of their mistakes is just as distructive to the discipline and the resource. We have strict laws against "amateurs" excavating archaeological sites and with good reason: invaluable data are invariably lost if professionals aren't directing the process. Osmanagic may simply be digging nothing but dirt in his quest. But there may also be valuable archaeological sites in his way. If he's destroying legitimate archaeological resources in the process of searching for a fantasy pyramid, then he should be jailed for the wanton destruction of antiquities.

Mark Rose at Archaeology has another discussion of this issue, and a quote by Curtis Runnels, a specialist in the prehistory of Greece and the Balkans at Boston University, beautifully sums up what's wrong with whole Bosnian Pyramid thing:

"These reports are irresponsible on the part of journalists," he says. "These claims are completely unsupported with any kind of factual evidence, such as artifacts or photographs of the alleged architectures. They have not been confirmed by archaeologists who have the training and competence to evaluate them. The person making the claims appears to have no training in archaeology and has not presented his finds in a way that would allow them to be scrutinized by trained experts. This is simply sensationalism and grandstanding and the journalists who have reported on these claims, without first fact-checking the stories with professional archaeologists, should be ashamed of themselves. People who believe these stories, especially when they are presented without evidence, are fools."

Same applies to the search for Noah's Ark...or Carl Baugh's footprints...or Intelligent Design.

7 comments:

Ron said...

It's hard to find the facts, but supposedly the hill once had a Roman fort on it. The town was the medieval capital of the area, so remains from that era are to be expected there as well. Whatever was there, it's been bulldozed, shoveled, and backhoed by a bunch of fakes posing as archeologists.

Christopher O'Brien said...

Yeah, that's what I was afraid of...from the sounds of the topography I'd be expecting late Pleistocene/early Holocene hunter-gather sites on some of those hilltops as well...I'm not sure who I am more infuriated with: the "amateur" for digging or the media for turning BS into news...

stultitia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amir said...

I've read an interesting article on http://www.bosnian-pyramid.net
about the corners of the pyramid. It would be an easy way to proof
quickly the existence, but they dig near the corners but not the
corners. Then they've dug something on the top of it, but not the
top!? I've seen some pictures on that really let me think again about
this whole thing. Every day I believe less in this mystery.

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||NeX|| said...

I've read an interesting article on Bosnian Pyramid about the corners of the pyramid. It would be an easy way to proof quickly the existence, but they dig near the corners but not the corners. Then they've dug something on the top of it, but not the top!? I've seen some pictures on Bosnian Pyramid Photo Gallery that really let me think again about this whole thing. Every day I believe less in this mystery.

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