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Artificial Concrete Used to Build Pyramid Walls

Underneath the layers of vegetation covering the hills in Visoko, there are layers of concrete making up what is known as the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids.

One of the Bosnian Pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun, is approximately one third taller than the ancient Egyptian Great Pyramid. The Pyramid of the Sun is constructed of five thick layers of concrete (sandstone slabs, almost one meter thick for each layer), with each layer containing a fifteen centimeter layer of clay in between. Underneath the concrete and clay, the inner pyramid consists of sandstone blocks.

Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun - Aerial View

The concrete blocks covering the hills are being excavated and samples of the concrete have been sent to prestigious labs all over the world to be tested. The tests resulted in several interesting findings about the concrete’s properties.

Exposed concrete blocks on the Pyramid of the Sun

Under the concrete of the Pyramid of the Sun, the series of large sandstone blocks show various types of rocks (differing pebbles and cobbles), including sandy quartz limestone, when more closely analyzed. It is thought that the concrete is made from material found at a locally deposited post glacial conglomerate. Experts who examined these crystals determined that during the manufacturing process, the materials were heated to above 500 degrees. Studies done at the University of Paris discovered that the concrete material found on the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun was five times stronger than modern day concrete. The concrete was shown to be resistant to 94 Megapascals of pressure, which means it is highly compressed and extremely rigid - concrete of this strength is only available in a few very developed countries at special request. The founder of the French Institute of Polymers, Joseph Davidovits, Ph.D. performed an electronic microscopic analysis on a sample of concrete; he concluded that the chemical composition of the old concrete’s basis is a calcium/potassium geopolymer cement. He found the cement to be five times stronger and five times more water resistant than any concrete able to be made today. Davidovits is an author of over fifty patents in the field of the science of materials, and is considered an expert in the field. He holds a French Medal of Merit and has published ten books about the construction of the Egyptian Pyramids.

Semir Osmanagic examining the exposed concrete blocks on the Pyramid of the Sun

Italy’s Polytechnic University of Turin (Politecnico di Torino), a leading Italian institution in the field of chemical engineering, civil engineering, and architectural research, performed an independent laboratory analysis at the construction materials specialized laboratory in the Chemistry Department of the university. This analysis involved looking at two samples of the stone blocks covering the north side of the foot of the Pyramid of the Sun. The first sample was the coating layer and the second sample was a stone conglomerate block; results were tested at the Turin institution. The study concluded that the samples are both an ancient, artificial, man-made construct of material. The sandstone samples collected from the outer casing of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun have the same composition as the concrete it covers, the only difference being that the inert material used for its manufacturing results in finer grains. The binding aggregates of the concrete, including the sandstone casing, are found to be made by heating kaolinite and muscovite clay, and dolomite and calcite limestone materials at high temperatures. This is a classic chemical binding process that creates a binding material similar to concrete. The Chemistry Department at the university also confirmed that the concrete consists of inert material with a binding material similar to Roman concrete.

The University of Sarajevo’s Institute for Structures and Materials confirmed the concrete’s artificial characteristics in 2008. More institutions have confirmed the use of artificial or man-made materials for the construction of the Bosnian Pyramids; for example, the Kemal Kapetanovic Institute from the University of Zenica, as well as other independent institutions.

Concrete blocks under a layer of vegetation - Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids

The construction material comprising the Pyramid of the Sun is not a normal, natural process. Dr. Aly Barakat, a geologist from Cairo, spent weeks researching all of the environment surrounding the Pyramid of the Sun. He did not find materials similar to the blocks of the Pyramid of the Sun and therefore he concluded his research noting that the pyramid is a natural hill shaped by man and covered with stone blocks. Other scientists, however are continuing to research differing hypotheses.

Dr. Semir Osmanagic is the founder of a government funded geological excavation project that aims to uncover and learn more about the potential pyramids in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The foundation is called “Archaeological Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation.” Osmanagic and his team are continuing to research the hypothesis that the pyramid is constructed from the blocks, unlike Dr. Aly Barakat who suspects the pyramid consists of blocks covering a man-made hill. Osmanagic and his team theorized this for two reasons: Firstly, because only a few areas of the pyramid were cleared of soil and vegetation. Secondly, the excavation techniques being used were not enough to see deeply enough into the pyramid to determine if anything is located on the inside.

Semir Osmanagic discussed how each concrete block is a different size and shape, and how this structure is similar to pyramidal structures in Cuzco, Peru. He suggests that a potential benefit of having a structure with different sized and shaped blocks is to help with structural stability; blocks of this sort would lock themselves in as opposed to collapsing during, for example, an earthquake.

Osmanagic also talks about how the spaces between the blocks go all of the way to the inside of the pyramids, and how these gaps possibly served to collect water and to ventilate the air. He also speculates that the reason that there two layer blocks on the pyramids (the base being completely flat and the top being wavy and textured) is that, “whoever designed these blocks wanted a wavy texture on the top.” In general, there are two types of blocks, each with a different look - one block looks like a monolith line of concrete and the other block looks like construction plates with clear edges and sides.

Although the construction of the Bosnian Pyramids in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina is not entirely known, there seems to be evidence pointing towards the idea that the material used to build the pyramids is an extremely advanced form of man-made concrete with unique properties. Perhaps research done by volunteers of the “Archaeological Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation” over the summer of 2013 will tell us more...


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Concrete blocks found underneath layers of vegetation.

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