Bosnian archaeologist Semir Osmanagich nicknamed as the "Bosnian Indiana Jones" by the locals, is an archaeologist who is known for making disreputable claims in the field of archaeology. He has landed himself in a controversy yet again with his new assertion.
This time, the controversial archaeologist claims to have discovered the world's oldest and largest ever manmade stone ball in a forest near the Bosnian town of Zavidovici. Osmanagich truly believes the giant sphere was humanly constructed and that it could prove the existence of an ancient and advanced civilization, which existed more than 1,500 years ago.
This spherical stone, which is partly buried in the ground, has a diameter of approximately 8-10 feet and weighs more than 30 tons, and is believed to be highly rich in iron content.
The stone however, hasn't been chemically tested yet, though the red and brown tinge of colors on the stone indicates high iron content. If the tests do confirm the presence of iron, then this stone ball would be hailed as the largest manmade sphere, surpassing the ones previously discovered in Mexico and Costa Rica in South America.
Dr. Osmanagich, originally from Austin, Texas, has been known to the archaeological world for all the wrong reasons. However, he receives plenty of support and funding for excavations from the Bosnian Government who believes him and is treated as a celebrity in the area.
However, certain scientists who have also seen the newly discovered rock have asserted that it seemingly appears to have been naturally formed than manually constructed.
Refuting Dr. Osmanagich's recent claims, Mandy Edwards, University of Manchester's School of Earth has explained that the sphere might have been made from a natural phenomenon called concretion wherein the natural mineral cement is precipitated within the spaces between sediment grains.
The other geologists and archaeologists in the region are also referring to Osmanagich's work and findings to be pseudo-archaeological and that they pose a threat to the real heritage of Bosnia.
Previously in 2005, Osmanagich landed in a controversy when he claimed that he had discovered a bunch of hills in the Visoko valley of Bosnia, which according to him were actually the primitive pyramids connected via tunnels. However, his contentions were met with mockery from the European Association of Archaeologists.
The president of the European Association of Archaeologists, Anthony Harding, described his Visoko excavation as "a total absurdity".
"There is some genuine archaeology on the hill and I'm told it's medieval, possibly Bronze Age or Roman. But the speculation that there could be a 12,000-year-old structure beneath is a complete fantasy and anyone with basic knowledge of archaeology or history should recognize that", said Harding.
Further, here is an additional nugget of information on the side -- it's interesting to learn that this region was believed to have hundreds of similar huge spheres in the early 20th Century. However, most of them were destroyed in the '70s sadly because of the rumors that they had gold hidden inside of them. Only around eight of these structures are believed to still exist today.