Abacus tries again
Article published on 20 March 2011

by Abacus

Like many others interested in the question of the Bosnian Pyramids, I have been intrigued by the activities of the SB Research Group. And, as readers of Le Site d’Irna will know, I recently tried to find out some more about their links with some highly respected Italian universities – although, unfortunately, without much success, as explained here.

However, on his website [1], Professor Debertolis, a leading member of the SB Research Group, states that comments such as mine are incorrect on many points [2] [1], two examples of which were having mistaken him for a dentist rather than an odontologist, and for a pseudo-scientist rather than a serious researcher.

So where else had we gone wrong?

On re-checking SB website, I find that the introductory page now states the following:

Sb Research Group (SBRG) is a multidisciplinary university project … a multidisciplinary team, and it mainly belongs to the Universities of Trieste - Dipartimento Universitario Clinico di Biomedicina, section of Archeologia Odontoiatrica - and Milan - Dipartimento di Architettura e Pianificazione, Facoltà di Architettura e Società.“ (In the Italian version: “Questo progetto di ricerca coniuga elementi di due università italiane, Trieste e Milano ... “) [3]. The text continues that it is: “ … working continuously with the Foundation "Archaeological Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun" for a further discussion and dissemination of findings about the so-called "Visoko’s Civilization" .

Many readers might therefore be forgiven for coming away with the impression, as I myself did initially, that the text is referring to the University of Trieste (Universitá degli Studi di Trieste) and also to the University of Milan (Universitá degli Studi di Milano); and that these two institutions are working with the Bosnian Pyramid Foundation. But in fact the reference is to the Polytechnic University of Milan [4], the oldest university in Milan and a highly respected further education establishment in its own right, certainly, although about a third of the size of the main University of Milan (the latter known familiarly as “Statale”). Yet no clarification of the distinction between the two institutions appears anywhere on the SB Research Group site –although this has not prevented commentators like Irna and me being called to task [5] by Professor Debertolis for failing to realize that “Milan Polytechnic is a prestigious University” (“non sa che il Politecnico di Milano è una prestigiosa Università”) - although Professor Debertolis does not indicate where Irna, or anyone else, actually made any such remark.

What the rather loose description on the SB Research Group appears to be trying to do is to draw attention to the links between four of the founder members of the SB Research Group – Professor Debertolis, Valeria Hocza, Lucia Krasovec Lucas, and Sara Acconci - and further education institutions in Milan and Trieste, without delving too deeply into the precise nature of these links and their relevance (or lack of it) to the activities of the SB Research Group. And, via the imprecise use of the adjective “universitario“ (university), the description coyly hints – without ever actually going so far as to openly state - that this is a multi-disciplinary project formally established by several universities, “progetto universitario multidisciplinare” (as I described in my original letter to Irna). However, would institutions such as the University of Trieste and the Polytechnic of Milan really agree to formally endorse [6] an undertaking engaged in activities such as those described by Irna here?

Academic institutions do, of course, frequently co-operate with one another on research projects. One example of such co-operation is to be found here, on the website of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There, under the heading “SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PROJECTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH OTHER INSTITUTIONS”, appears a reference to the “Butmir culture project – the Neolithic population of central Bosnia, in association with the German Archaeological Institute of Frankfurt, 2002-2008 (Z. Kujundžić – Vejzagić). And, sure enough, on the site of the Deutsches Archäoligisches Institut, there appears a further reference to, and description of, the same project. [7]

But, despite the SB Research Group’s vague claims to be a “progetto universitario multidisciplinare,” neither the Universitá di Trieste site, nor the Politecnico di Milano site, contains any mention of either the Group itself, or indeed of the Bosnian Pyramids Foundation.

So, despite Professor Debertolis’ comments, this seems to leave us pretty much where we started.