The geological probes
Article published on 20 July 2006

by Irna

In August 2005, Mr. Osmanagic had (on his own funds apparently) a series of drillings done on Visocica hill, with the aim of confirming his "hypothesis" of the pyramid of the Sun. The results are presented in three different documents, and with some nuances: first of all in the report of October-November 2005 by the geologist Nadija Nukic, engaged by Mr. Osmanagic; Ms. Nukic’s results are then included in Mr. Osmanagic’s book "The Bosnian pyramid of the Sun" published in December 2005; and finally these results are again partially used and criticized by the geologists of the University of Tuzla who have, at the invitation of the Foundation, made in April 2006 a report on the geology of Visocica.

The probes

Let’s begin with Ms. Nukic’s report; it can be downloaded in bosnian (bs) [1] as well as [in english (en)>] [1] on the Foundation website. In fact, it seems that there are two reports: the one that is on the Foundation website is only about three probe holes (2 meters x 5 to 9 meters), but there probably is another one, from September 2005, containing also the results of the drillings (6 drillings about 40 meters deep), and that the geologists from Tuzla seem to have read.

In her October report on the probes, Ms. Nukic first presents the geology of the region: the most frequent rocks are, according to her, breccia (en), conglomerate (en) and sandstone (en) (which was often used, says the author, as building material in the region), all dating from Neogen, that is the end of the Tertiary Era (Miocene). Even on this first page of the report there is a first "conclusion", a not very scientific one:

Given that the shape of Visočica is a symmetrical geometric form, whose four sides are identical (except the front side where there is an entrance plateau), it can be concluded that nature itself could not form such a regular form as all these materials are sedimentary rocks made of fine grains flown in by water and deposited.

Sûr, la nature ne peut pas créer de formes géométriques symétriques...
Indeed, nature cannot create geometrical and symmetrical shapes... - Source
...surtout dans des roches sédimentaires !
... especially in sedimentary rocks ! - Source

It seems to me that it is a quite unusual scientific report when you conclude before having made any research [2]...

Then Ms. Nukic exposes her plan of research; here again I think that a stage is often forgotten; for instance, one of the questions Ms. Nukic searches an answer for, is to know wether the "manufactured" sandstone slabs on the "entrance of the plateau" were set "in the form of a staircase or whether the slope line was closely followed in the pavement process". Should not one first verify wether these sandstone slabs have actually been worked by man, and wether their disposition could be natural? This problem happens several times in Ms. Nukic’s report: she regularly postulates the existence of the pyramid, and searches about its methods of construction rather than about its existence itself.

Then the report describes the probes and their results: the first probe is not convincing, as it is quickly seen that it is made in an area that was much disturbed during the war; however, it allowed the finding, a little bit higher on the slope, of "breccia" blocks "ordered like bricks in a brick wall - the upper block was moved inwards in relation to the lower one". The second probe was meant to verify wether the sandstone slabs were manually polished; unfortunately, the works have been stopped - the report doesn’t explain why - before an answer could be found. However, we learn that a sandstone slab "with clearly visible concentric circles" has been found at the depth of 70 cm. Without a photograph (the report is illustrated with nothing more than a vague drawing), it is not easy to guess what it is. Is it the same kind of "ornate stone" that Mr. Osmanagic found when he first came to Visocica in April?

Pierre "décorée" découverte par M. Osmanagic en avril 2005
A "decorated" stone discovered by M. Osmanagic in April 2005 - Source

Or is it this kind of stone?

Qu’est-ce que c’est ?
What is it ? - Source

Strangely, on this page (en), which is said to be an extract from Ms. Nukic’s report given by Mr. Osmanagic, the photograph illustrating these "concentric circles" is the same than the one shown in Mr. Osmanagic’s book (bs), and in the book the stone is said to have been found when he first visited Visocica in April 2005, and not during a geological probing...

The third probe was aimed at a definition of the construction method of the "access plateau"; there again, after having noted that the sandstone slabs are all inclined of about 25°, Ms. Nukic doesn’t ask the obvious question (is it the natural dip of the layers in this area?), but prefers to ask whether it is possible to explain this slope with a supposed "landslide"... However, we can learn there that this third probe offered a discovery that could have been significant: the discovery of two human skeletons, incomplete ones, set between sandstone slabs. For an archaeologist, the discovery of a burial is always extremely important: it can allow an absolute datation, and the precise study of the method of burial can deliver a lot of information about the studied culture. All that we will learn about these skeletons in Ms. Nukic’s report, is that they were photographed by an archaeologist (who? no name is given; and where are these photographs? the Foundation is lavish with photos on the website, but then I couldn’t find even one photograph of the skeletons [3]...), and that they were "sent to analysis in order to determine how old they were". Since August 2005, no news at all: where are these skeletons? have the analyses been processed? by whom? what are the results? What could this lack of information imply: that the skeletons were lost? or that the results were not compatible with the official version of a 12,000 years old pyramid? The most strange is that Mr. Osmanagic sometimes announces (en) for the fall of 2006 datations of organic material, but at other times he says (en) to a journalist from The Independant (on 2006, April 28) "We have yet to find any organic remains, bones, wood or coal"... This kind of inconsistency shows the levity of the Foundation, and could justify the worry of some archaeologists, who are seriously afraid that some archaeological material could be destroyed during these excavations.

Ms. Nukic concludes her report with this sentence: "It is obvious at a first glance that these sandstone plates were manually processed, ie taken out of blocks and cut to fit the required dimensions." I would personally wish to have for the "obviousness" of this manual processing some other evidence than this sentence...

The drillings

As said above, I couldn’t find on the Foundation website the other part of Ms. Nukic’s report, the one from September 2005 with the results of the six drilling holes made in August on the West, North and East faces of Visocica. These results are, however, mentioned in Mr. Osmanagic’s book (bs). Mr. Osmanagic first lavishly describes the process of the drilling itself, with more than 20 photographs of the drilling machine and the samples that do not give any scientific information or argumentation. Then come the comments about the samples themselves, and Mr. Osmanagic notices more than ten "anomalies"; here are two examples:

Forage B1, 1 à 5 mètres
Drilling hole B1, 1 to 5 meters - Source

Here, Mr. Osmanagic notices a first anomaly at the depth of 3,70 m: "the clay grades into indurated marl which is geologically almost impossible over a very short period of time - this cannot happen over 20,000 years".

Forage B1, 6 à 8 mètres
Drilling hole B1, 6 to 8 meters - Source

A second "very important" anomaly at 7,80 m: "There is a mixing of marl, sand and black traces (organic material). The marl being impermeable, the sand cannot be there naturally!" And Mr. Osmanagic considers an artificial installation, for instance a drain and water filtration system...

The geologists from the Tuzla University

The coming on Visocica of a team of geologists from Tuzla University had been loudly proclaimed, at the end of March 2006, on the Foundation website (see for instance this press release from March 21th (bs), or this one from March 19th (bs)), and in the local media:

Oslobodjenje, 31 mars 2006

Then, nothing: the result of this visit is mentioned nowhere on the Foundation website, nor the press conference (en) that was held on the 8th of May in Tuzla by these geologists. These geologists’ report, ignored by the Foundation (which had ordered it), has been found by "Stultitia" (bs), one of the Bosnian "AntiPyramid Web-Ring" (bs) bloggers. You can download it on her new blog (bs) (link "Izvjestaj Rudarsko-geolosko-gradevinskog fakulteta u Tuzli"), or below (the text is in Bosnian) [4].

Rapport des géologues de l’Université de Tuzla
Report by the geologists of Tuzla University - Source

What does this report say? The seven geologists of Tuzla University had the opportunity to read the complete report by Ms. Nukic (describing the probes and the drillings). They make a summary of this report (discreetly pointing at some of its lacks), then they compare it with how Mr. Osmanagic used it (see above). The most interesting is that Mr. Osmanagic seems to have, for the needs of his book, invented or exaggerated some "anomalies", which did not appear in Ms. Nukic’s report, or at least did not appear as "anomalies". If one looks closer at the two examples of "anomalies" mentioned above, for the first one ("the clay grades into indurated marl which is geologically almost impossible over a very short period of time - this cannot happen over 20,000 years"), the Tuzla geologists note that "Geologist Nukić does not list this as an anomaly. The profile of B-1 at 3.7 m the clay grades into indurated marley clay, which is completely natural". For the second "anomaly" (the "mixing of marl, sand and black traces (organic material)"), they note that "Geologist Nukić described ’clay, marl and coal with sand and gravel’ but she also stresses caving in of the boring could have occured". So, the "anomalies" mentioned in Mr. Osmanagic’s book were not such in his geologist’s report (even if, as said above, Ms. Nukic however admitted from the start the existence of the "pyramid").

The Tuzla geologists then pursued their analysis with a visit on Visocica on the 15th of April, where they could study the three probe holes made the previous year. All the studied rocks (by the way of the terrain survey or of the petrographic and mineralogical analyses made later) are common rocks in the region: breccia, conglomerate, sandstone, sandy limestone, marl and clay. They conclude their report like this: "Geological investigations of Visočica near Visoko indicate that it is composed of clastic sediments [=sedimentary rock composed primarily from fragments of preexisting rocks] exhibiting a layered structure. In the lower part of the stratigraphic column are sandstones, marls and clays, and in the upper conglomerates. These sediments were deposited within the Zenica-Sarajevo basin during upper Miocene. The current morphology of Visočica is a consequence of endodynamic [=rising and folding] and exodynamic [=erosion] processes during the post Miocene period." [5]

The Foundation has never commented this report, which totally contradicts Mr. Osmanagic theories and conclusions. The pyramids supporters on the forums usually give two objections:
 the visit of the Tuzla team on Visocica took place before the beginning of the 2006 excavations, so that they have not taken in consideration the "finds" made on Visocica later (to be precise, they came on Visocica just at the beginning of the excavations, and they could study the probe holes from the previous year, not to mention the samples taken in the drillings);
 the Egyptian geologist Mr. Barakat, who stayed an entire month on the terrain, seems to maintain his position that Visocica is, if not a "pyramid" made by man, at least a hill that was largely "arranged" by man. In front of these two contradictory positions, one can notice that, if Mr. Barakat has the advantage of a longer stay on the site, the Tuzla geologists have for them the advantage, compared to their Egyptian colleague, of the knowledge of local geology!

Izvjestaj o geoloskom ispitivanju tla na lokaciji uzvisenja "Visocica" u Visokom
Nadija Nukic - 12 décembre 2005
Report on a geological survey of "Visocica" elevation in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nadija Nukic - 12 novembre 2005