Category Archives: EUROPE

The Secret of 34,000-year-old Artificial Bosnian Pyramids

The Secret of 34,000-year-old Artificial Bosnian Pyramids

There’s been plenty of literature and conversation around pyramids and even now we have not stopped discovering pyramids around the world.

Sam Osmanagich claims that 12,000 years ago, early Europeans built “the greatest pyramidal complex” on earth, in Bosnia.

Years of study have revealed that enormous pyramids were built more than ten millennia ago during the Atlantic Period. These are located on a grid of the world and the prime meridian passes through the Cheops Pyramid in Egypt.

They also contain cryptic codes that use a system of mathematics which is not at all similar to what we are used to today. The knowledge and skill required for building these enormous pyramids were forgotten over the ages and the ones built later could not even imagine rivaling their predecessors in size.

We tend to think of pyramids as belonging only to the Egyptians and the Middle Americans but they exist worldwide even if they don’t exactly fit the commonly accepted description of pyramids.

For example, there are many tall pyramids in China that were veiled in secrecy for centuries. Not much is known about these tall pyramids even today. Similarly, tall pyramids were found in Indonesia and even in West Java, completely obscured by vegetation.

Bosnia’s pyramids first came to the modern world’s attention in 2005 from Visoko. The amount of fauna and grime covering them is indicative of their great age and they are doubly important because they actually rival the size of the pyramids in Gaza.

They are also a sign that a great civilization flourished in that region of which we know next to nothing. Many scientists refused to recognize them as pyramids but they are now being proven wrong as more and more proof is unearthed that these pyramids were constructed artificially.

In ages past, the entrances to the pyramids in Bosnia and the tunnels surrounding them were blocked using stones and mud. Later on, they were completely sealed off which would have taken a lot of hard work. This indicates that everything within them is still lying there waiting to be found.

Modern Archaeology has expanded its scope far beyond what it used to be. In the past, it was dominated by only those without open minds who were quick to reject any proof that suggested something different from their own ideas of what human history was like.

They believe that human beings in the olden days were ignorant and uncivilized and this belief is region-specific.

The pyramids of Bosnia offer a wonderful argument against these beliefs. They prove that civilizations with immense technological skills were very much present as far back as ten thousand years ago.

They are being excavated and studied by scientists with broader horizons and laymen who contribute with concepts that are different from the norm. Their work has only just begun and it is exciting to think about how it will change the world.

How old are these pyramids?

A stalagmite over 5,000 years old was discovered in the Rave tunnel indicating the tunnel fell into disuse during that period. The tunnel must have been built much earlier.

Soil covers most of the pyramids and the State Institute for Agropedology has determined that it is around 12,000 years old.

Radiocarbon dating of the material has given a minimum age for the structure of 29,200 years. That is older than the Pyramids of Egypt and Mexico.

The Moon Pyramid in Bosnia has a paved terrace which radiocarbon dating by the Silesian Institute of Technology, Gliwice, has proved is more than ten thousand years old, give or take a few centuries. These pyramids were then built well before any of the others discovered so far.

A log was discovered in one of the tunnels ten years ago. Testing showed that it is between 30,0000 – 35,000 years old. While excavating the Sun Pyramid, the team discovered some organic material immediately below the top layer. When dated, tests showed that it is over 24,000 years old.

The pyramid artefact what was found circa three kilometers from Visoko.

Whereas this set of structures is over 12,000 years old, there are other discoveries which might be from other civilizations which settle in that area later.

So far archaeologists have unearthed the Sun, the Moon, the Dragon, the Earth, and the Love pyramids. These have really served to change the way the scientific community perceives the region and its history.

2,400-year-old mask of Dionysus unearthed in western Turkey

2,400-year-old mask of Dionysus unearthed in western Turkey

During excavations in the western part of Turkey, researchers unearthed a terracotta mask that dates back almost 2,400 years.

The terracotta mask of the ancient Greek god Dionysus found at the ancient city of Daskyleion, Balıkesir, western Turkey.

Archaeologist Kaan Iren who led the excavation team told Anadolu Agency that the mask depicts the ancient Greek god Dionysus and it is considered to be one of the most interesting discoveries of this year.

Dionysus was the ancient Greek god of wine, wine-making, grape cultivation, ritual madness, theatre, fertility, and religious ecstasy. He has also been referred to as the Greek god of carnivals and masquerades as well as a patron of the arts.

He was the son of Zeus and the mortal princess of Thebes named Semele. Dionysus was believed to have hidden his power as well as his identity.

Mycenean Greeks have been worshipping Dionysus perhaps as far back as 1500 to 11000 BCE. According to legend, if you wear a mask that honours him, you will be released of regret and secret desires.

As for where the mask was discovered, the ancient city of Daskyleion was situated on the shore of Lake Manyas in the Bandirma district of the Balikesir province at a time when Asia Minor had several Greek settlements.

The city received its name in the seventh century BC after a well-known Lydian King named Daskylos arrived there from Sardis because of a dispute within his dynasty.

Daskylos’ son Gyges was born in Daskyleion but was eventually called back to Lydia where he was crowned their king. After he became king, the city was renamed Daskyleion (the place of Daskylos) around the year 650 BC.

Getting back to the mask, Iren noted that it is “possibly a votive mask” meaning that it may have been used to express a vow or wish.

He went on to say, “More information will become available over time with more research.” It should be interesting to find out what more they can uncover. A picture of the mask and the excavation site can be seen here.

Additional searches are being conducted as Iren stated that earlier this year a cellar was discovered in the Lydian kitchen in Daskyleion’s acropolis, “Work continues to obtain seeds and other organic parts from the excavated soil in the Lydian kitchen and its surroundings through a flotation process.”

More research at the site will hopefully help the experts to have a better understanding of the ancient people’s food preferences and habits.

Archaeologists Found 12th Century Medieval Castle in England

Archaeologists Found 12th Century Medieval Castle in England

The greatest archeological and historical discoveries are often found in the most unlikely of places. This was the case in December, when construction laborers were left in awe while renovating a men’s prison in Gloucester, England.

Back around the year 1110, the rulers of Gloucester built an impressive castle ”similar to the Tower of London,” It had 3 chapels, 2 drawbridges, and walls that were a solid 12 feet wide. 

During the 15th century reign of Richard III (the hunchback ruler with a bad reputation who was recently found buried under a parking lot), the castle became a country jail.

For the next 200 years or so, it served as a makeshift lockup until, in 1787, it was knocked down to make way for a dedicated Jail. This prison, which closed in 2013 after many updates to the buildings, is now in the process of being renovated.

When the old basketball court was dug up, an archaeological group found a wall from the original castle just two feet beneath the ground. It’s not clear yet what this discovery means for the future of the site.

It was slated for redevelopment of some sort, but as one local planner told the Gloucester Citizen, “you can not just ignore that there is a castle there.”

Intending to tear down and replace the old facility, the team was forced to halt the project when they unearthed pieces of near ancient history. So just what, exactly, was down there? Would you believe it was a medieval castle?

They believe the castle was built between 1110 and 1120, and “was a large structure, with the keep, which we have now located in our work, an inner bailey and stable.

While Digging in the Excercise yard of a defunct jail, construction workers in Gloucester, England, unexpectedly unearthed a castle wall from the 12th century.

The keep was surrounded by a series of concentric defences which comprised curtain walls and ditches, with the drawbridge and gatehouse lying outside the current site toward the north.”

The keep is believed to have been 30 metres in length and 20 metres wide, and had walls as thick as 12 feet. Neil Holbrook, chief executive of Cotswold Archaeology, told the Western Press Daily, “I am surprised by what we Discovered.

I knew there was a castle however I had expected more of it to have been destroyed.” He added the size and design would have been similar to the Tower of London.

“It would have been a powerful symbol of Norman architecture engineering,” he said. “As you came to Gloucester you would have seen the cathedral and the castle, which is representative of how important the city was in Norman Britain.” 

The archaeologists have so far discovered nearly 900 objects, including medieval pottery and a 6-sided die made of bone. It was believed that the castle had been destroyed in the eighteenth century when a prison was built on the site, however, it seems that the gaol was built over the medieval structure.

 The jail was in use until 2013 and is set for redevelopment. News of the discovery is leading to calls that the site is protected. Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council explained to the Gloucester Citizen, “Whatever is done on-site needs to be sensitive to the heritage of both the castle and the listed buildings there.

We are blessed that we have a designer that cares about the heritage of the site. Having glass flooring above it, allowing visitors to see through might be a possibility. The most important matter is to preserve it well, the walls have been here for many years and we want them here for hundreds more.”

20,000 years old Dogs remains Found in Caves in Southern Italy

20,000 years old Dogs remains Found in Caves in Southern Italy

The Jacksonville Free Press reports that dog remains found in two caves in Apulia have been dated to between 20,000 and 14,000 years ago. The dogs are thought to have inhabited the caves with humans, pushing back dog domestication in the region by about 4,000 years. 

The causes of this phenomenon are still a complete mystery, while dogs are recognized as the best companion of humanity and one of the most domesticated animals worldwide.

Researchers from the University of Siena in Italy hope their discovery can shed light on how dogs made the change from wild carnivores to loving companions. 

The difference between dog remains found at the prehistoric cave of Grotta Paglicci (the smaller one) and the same anatomic element from a current wolf.
This jaw bone comes from the cave of Grotta Paglicci shows how the teeth of what could be Europe’s earliest domesticated dogs

One theory is that wolves became scavengers out of necessity due to a lack of food, and this took them close to human settlements.  Some experts believe the animals and humans slowly developed a bond and the symbiotic relationship flourished from there. 

Others think wolves and humans worked together when hunting and this is how the relationship spawned.  The research team from Siena University hopes that the surviving fragments of one of the first dogs to live alongside humans as a pet could help find a definitive answer. 

Dr. Francesco Boschin led a piece of research, published in August in Scientific Reports, on early canine remains found at two paleolithic caves in Southern Italy, the Paglicci Cave, and the Romanelli Cave.

Writing in this study, the scientists say: ‘Our combined molecular and morphological analyses of fossil canid remain from the sites of Grotta Paglicci and Grotta Romanelli, in southern Italy, attest of the presence of dogs at least 14,000 calibrated years before present. 

‘This unambiguously documents one of the earliest occurrences of domesticates in the Upper Palaeolithic of Europe and in the Mediterranean.’ However, a further analysis which is still ongoing shows this figure could indeed be much later, towards 20,000 years, Dr Boschin told RealPress.   

‘From an archaeological point of view, the oldest remains of domesticated dogs were found in Central Europe and date back 16,000 years,’ Dr Boschin said.   

In the Mediterranean area, we have now established that domesticated dogs lived here 14,000 years ago for sure, but possibly even 20,000 years ago. While defining their true age is still a work in progress, the researchers are confident of one thing, their findings include the oldest pet dog specimens discovered in the Mediterranean area.

‘[They] could also represent the until now missing evidence of the evolutionary process that led to the dog, the very first domesticated animal,’ Dr. Boschin adds. Remains of wolves were also discovered in the caves. They were bigger than the dogs and had distinct molars designed to tear meat apart that dogs do not have. 

Paglicci cave italy.

Molecular analysis has indicated that the genetic separation of wolves and dogs started somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago, and according to Dr. Boschin, the domestication process itself may have played a key part in that process. We believe that in the first stage of the domestication process it is always like that – domesticated animals are always smaller than wild ones,’ he said.

‘This is true for all mammals. In the case of dogs, we consider them to be pets, and this is the first evidence: Their smaller size.’

Scholars and scientists agree that the domestication of the dog dates back to the Last Glacial Maximum, a period of strong environmental crisis during which many European animal populations – and humans – sought refuge in warmer regions, such as the peninsulas of southern Europe, including Italy, Iberia and the Balkans.

Difference between the dog of Grotta Paglicci (the smaller one) and the same bone from a current wolf. On the table are other two remains of Grotta Paglicci (vertebrae and a jaw
Professor Caramelli (left), of the Florence University, seeing the difference between a dog from Paglicci and a current wolf in the lab of anthropology of the university

‘In this period of serious crisis, the wolf, a social predator in some way similar to man, found a new way to ensure survival: taking advantage of a new niche, eating the leftovers from human settlements,’ Dr. Boschin explained.  He also believes it is possible humans tried to accelerate the divergence from wolf to dog by killing the most aggressive offspring, encouraging calm and obedient genes to be passed down the generations. 

The genetic profile from one of the dogs discovered in the Paglicci Cave closely resembles the genetic profile of similar remains found in Germany. Both of these findings could be dated to about 14,000 years ago.

This, Dr. Boschin said, shows that the specimens found more than 600 miles apart both originated from a common population before spreading across Europe. 

‘At that time our continent was characterized by a strong cultural fragmentation, but the discovery of two genetically related dogs, one in southern Italy and the other in Germany, suggests that, despite cultural differences, the dogs may have represented a common cultural feature among human groups.’

The research could lead to a better understanding of the role dogs played in Palaeolithic communities, something we still know next to nothing about. 

Dogs may have had a specific function in the hunting or in the defence of camps. They may also have served a more spiritual purpose, as dogs still do today in some tribal cultures, where they are considered reincarnations of the dead or earthly manifestations of spirits.

The research team is still analyzing the findings and hope to eventually be able to provide more answers to this and other questions about the early co-existence of man and his best friend, Dr Boschin said. 

Roman Settlement Unearthed in Eastern England

Roman Settlement Unearthed in Eastern England

Excavation ahead of road construction in the East Midlands has uncovered human remains, animal bones, roof tiles, an iron sickle, a copper spoon handle, brooches, stone walls, a pottery kiln, and other furnaces and ovens dated to the second or third centuries A.D., according to a Lincolnshire Live report.

Some 400 Roman coins were also recovered. One of the buildings unearthed at the site was built into a hillside. The remains of several adults, including at least eight new-born babies who died in the second or third centuries AD, were found at the site near Grantham.

Overall, thousands of long-forgotten artifacts have been unearthed as part of ongoing works on the Grantham Southern Relief Road.

An aerial view of one of the buildings

Catherine Edwards, project manager for AOC Archaeology – the firm contracted to research the site’s archaeology – said: “Although the finds are yet to be looked at by specialists, we believe the oldest activity dates back to the Romano-British period, somewhere between 100 and 410 AD.

“The first step of our investigation was to carefully strip the site’s topsoil. Once the material was moved off-site, we were able to move in and start our investigations.

“First, we used a range of heavy tools, like shovels, spades, picks and barrows, to expose features and artefacts.

“We then used lighter hand tools, like trowels and hand brushes, to excavate and clean what we’d uncovered.

“A full written record of each feature or layer is then produced, describing its function, form and relationships with other features.

“Each discovery is also photographed, and GPS equipment is used to locate each one accurately on a plan.

“This allows us to ‘recreate’ the site and tell its story.”

The three biggest finds

According to Phil Weston, senior archaeological consultant at WSP – the company advising Lincolnshire County Council on highway design and environmental compliance – the three most significant finds discovered as part of this investigation are:

Several exceptionally well-preserved Roman buildings – one building was terraced into the hillside and officials believe that a landslip caused it to collapse.

“The remarkable preservation of this building and several others will help the archaeologists in reconstructing the buildings and the lives of those that used them.”

The buildings have been discovered as part of the works

Burials – as well as a grave containing the remains of several adults, the remains of at least eight new-born babies who died in the second or third centuries AD were found buried under the floors and foundations of some of the buildings.

The grave of an adult

Phil said: “Such burials are not uncommon on Roman sites and they are referred to as foundation burials.

“No one knows for sure why, but one idea is that they were thought to bring luck to the structure and its occupants.”

Industrial features – a very well-preserved pottery kiln and several other furnace/oven bases were uncovered.

The base of an oven furnace

Phil said: “The pottery kiln we discovered indicates that the small settlement was producing its own pottery vessels.

“The function of the other furnaces and oven features is still unclear, but it’s possible they may have been used to bake bread or for metalworking.”

Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “When building a new road, it’s not just about constructing bridges and laying Tarmac.

“First and foremost, it’s really important to understand and protect the area’s heritage so future generations learn from and understand its rich history.

“For example, these investigations where Grantham’s new relief road will be built will greatly contribute to our understanding of the Roman settlement at Saltersford, just south of where Grantham is now – particularly what sort of activities were taking place here hundreds and thousands of years ago and how our Grantham fits into the country’s historical picture.

“It’s truly amazing when you stop and think about what’s underneath the ground below your feet.”

The works have gone on for some time and will continue

The Grantham Southern Relief Road project is being led by Lincolnshire County Council and supported by South Kesteven District Council, Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Highways England, Department for Transport, Network Rail, Homes England, and local businesses.

5,000-year-old Neolithic Passage Tomb Studied in Scotland

5,000-year-old Neolithic Passage Tomb Studied in Scotland

The research was carried out at the communally-built dry-stone tombs in Maeshowe, led by Jay van der Reijden, a master student at the University of Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute.

The tombs, referred to as ‘houses for the dead’, showed similar layouts to that of domestic houses.

Ms van der Reijden’s found the side chambers showed inverted architectural designs to give the effect that the chamber is within the underworld.

A new study has revealed that parts of Maeshowe, a 5,000-year-old tomb in Orkney, were built upside down to represent the afterlife.

She said: “I’m delighted that my research, studying the order by which stones have been placed during construction, has been able to reveal novel results and that it is, therefore, able to make a real contribution to the field of archaeology.

“Visualise the wall-stones are like wallpapers, and when you repeatedly hang them upside down in distinct locations patterns become discernible. The swaps include the reversal of multiple architectural features normally placed on the right-hand side being on the left only inside the side chambers.

“The interpretation is that the side chambers are built to be within the netherworld, by the main chamber walls acting as membranes, separating this life and the next, and that the internal walling material is conceived to physically represent the underworld.”

Maeshowe, which is visible for miles around, dates from 2,700 BC and is one of the fascinating ancient monuments that make up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

The tomb is accessed by a long, narrow passageway which leads into a large central chamber, with three side chambers, where the dead were laid to rest. The chambered tomb is aligned perfectly with the setting sun during the time around the winter solstice when it shines deep into the passageway and illuminates the rear wall of the main chamber.

Visitors to Maeshowe will also see Viking-era graffiti in the central chamber, left by a group of Norsemen who broke into the tomb to take shelter one night during Christmas 1153.

The men were led by Earl Harald through the snow from Stromness to the parish of Firth.

The 30 inscriptions found in Maeshowe, make it one of the largest, and most famous, collections of runes known in Europe and can be viewed by torchlight.

The latest research will be published Cambridge University’s Archaeological Review, which is due out by the end of the year.

Nick Card, excavation director of the Ness of Brodgar, said, “Despite being a focus of attention since its first modern-day entry over 150 years ago, the iconic Maeshowe continues to reveal its secrets through careful and considered study.

This study offers new ways of approaching and understanding the construction and use of not only this monument but has wider implications for the study of Neolithic stone-built monuments and the society that constructed them.”

Wreckage of sunken WWII battleship found off Norway

Wreckage of sunken WWII battleship found off Norway

A sonar scan of the German warship Karlsruhe, which was recently discovered off the southern coast of Norway

CBS News reports that the 571-foot German warship Karlsruhe was found under 1,600 feet of water off the coast of Norway by the power company Statnett with multibeam echo sounders and a remotely operated vehicle.

The ship, equipped with nine cannons and three triple turrets, led the invasion of Norway on April 9, 1940, but was struck by a British submarine torpedo on its return trip.

The site of the wreck was unclear for the next 80 years. Nora Buli reports to Reuters, experts from the country’s state-run power grid operator, Statnett, identified a sunken vessel situated near one of the company’s underwater cables as the long-lost ship.

An element of sunken German WWII warship cruiser “Karlsruhe” that had been observed 13 nautical miles from Kristiansand
An element of sunken German WWII warship cruiser

Statnett engineers spotted the remains of 571-foot cruisers during a routine survey via sonar in 2017, according to Arnfinn Nygaard from the Norwegian broadcast networks NRK.

But the ship’s identity remained a mystery until late June, when photographs captured by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) revealed its hull, gun turrets and telltale swastikas resting some 1,500 feet beneath the waves, per a statement.

Researchers identified Karlsruhe based on the shape of its hull and such details as the positions of its gun turrets, reports Reuters. The wreck is located just under 50 feet away from a power cable installed in 1977.

“You can find Karlsruhe’s fate in history books, but no one has known exactly where the ship sunk,” says Frode Kvalø, an archaeologist at the Norwegian Maritime Museum, in the statement.

“Moreover, it was the only large German warship that was lost during the attack on Norway with an unknown position. After all these years we finally know where the graveyard [of] this important warship is.”

The Karlsruhe cruiser prior to its sinking

Built-in the late 1920s, Karlsruhe was repurposed—and redecorated—by the Nazis during World War II.

It successfully supported Germany’s attack on Norway but fell victim to a British submarine when departing the port of Kristiansand. After crew members evacuated the hobbled ship, the Germans scuttled it themselves.

The newly rediscovered cruiser sank at the very start of the Nazis’ invasion of Norway, which saw the country’s government and king seek refuge in Britain, where they remained until the German surrender in 1945, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

In the statement, Kvalø notes that large warships tend to turn around when sinking due to their high centre of gravity.

Karlsruhe, however, “stands firmly … below sea level with cannons pointing menacingly into the sea.”

The archaeologist adds, “With the main battery of nine cannons in three triple turrets, this was the largest and most fearsome ship in the attack group against Kristiansand.”

An element of sunken German WWII warship cruiser

Per NRK, the Norwegian Coastal Administration will now monitor the ship, as it may still contain upward of one million litres of fuel, as well as other potentially harmful chemicals.

Sunken WW2 battleship found off Norway; Video Source: Reuters.

2,700-year-old Iron Age ‘loch village’ discovered in Scotland

2,700-year-old Iron Age ‘loch village’ discovered in Scotland

During a small-scale dig, archaeologists discovered what was initially believed to be a crannog – a loch shelter, a loch-dwelling often found on the banks of a loch or sited on an artificial island.

Archaeologists at the remains of an extensive iron age ‘loch village’ in Wigtownshire. 

Instead, they discovered at least seven houses built in wetlands around the now in-filled Black Loch of Myrton, near Wigtownshire, in south-west Scotland. Called a “loch village,” this type of site is unique in Scotland and there are few other comparable sites elsewhere in the British Isles.

Similar lake villages have been found in Glastonbury and Meare, both in Somerset, but this is the first loch village to be uncovered in the north of the Border.

Archaeologists at the remains of an extensive iron age ‘loch village’ in Wigtownshire. 

Scotland’s Iron Age began some 2,700 years ago.

The Wigtownshire dig was a pilot excavation of what was thought to be a crannog, under threat by drainage operations.

However, during the excavation over the summer, AOC Archaeology Group – which worked on the dig in conjunction with local volunteers – discovered evidence of multiple structures.

During the dig, which was part-financed with £15,000 from Historic Scotland, archaeologists realized that what appeared to be a small group of mounds was a stone hearth at the center of a roundhouse.

The timber structure of the house has been preserved, with beams radiating out from the hearth, forming the foundation, while the outer wall consisted of a double-circuit of stakes.

Rather than being a single crannog, as first thought, it appears to be a settlement of at least seven houses built around the small loch. Crannogs were probably the centres of prosperous Iron Age farms, where people lived in an easily defended location to protect themselves and their livestock from raiders.

Nancy Hollinrake, who runs an archaeology business with her husband in Glastonbury and who is also on the committee of the Glastonbury Antiquarian Society, said she was excited by the find.

She explained that although there were hundreds of crannogs in Scotland, this was different.

“It says a lot about the degree of protection they would have needed – having that many crannogs in one area,” she said.

“The industry would have been iron – and they would have been able to get the temperature of a furnace up to a point where they could smelt iron and make glass,” she added.

“There would have been high levels of craftsmanship and exchange of goods.

“They would also have carried out enamelling, bronzework, as well as spinning, weaving and dyeing large amounts of cloth. They decorated braids and played games with dice.”

Graeme Cavers, of AOC Archaeology, who is the co-director of the site, said that because the land was abandoned after the Iron Age, the buildings were well preserved.

“Waterlogged wood also offers the opportunity to date the structure very accurately using dendrochronology – or tree-ring counting – to give a date accurate to within a few years or even months, rather than the decades or centuries usually provided by radiocarbon dating,” he added.