When archaeologists study the mysteries of our past, they look for all sorts of clues about how people worked, lived and entertained themselves in ancient civilizations. Surprisingly, some of what they discover is not all that varied from how we live today!
Nevertheless, any archaeologist can tell you that the true thrill of what they do lies in the discoveries they make that are completely unexpected. While it’s gratifying to find an object and identify it right on the spot, sometimes the objects that cannot quickly be explained are the most fascinating of them all.
For example, when a group of Bosnian villagers unearthed a mysterious stone orb deep in the forest of Zavidovići, they knew they had a real mystery on their hands…
When villagers discovered a giant stone sphere in a forest in Zavidovići, Bosnia, they immediately contacted archaeologists to help them investigate the strange object. The sphere was roughly five feet in diameter and was mostly made of iron. Nobody knew how long it had been there, though.
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While the sphere’s origins remained a mystery, one researcher by the name of Semir Osmanagić thought he was on to something in unveiling its secrets. In particular, he believed it could be the key to unlocking the secrets of an ancient civilization.
Semir argued that the sphere was really a relic from more than 1,500 years ago—and it wasn’t the only one in existence. He said that spheres like these were regularly found in the 1970s, but have become rarer because people tended to destroy them to see if their centers held gold, as was rumored.
Known as the Bosnian “Indiana Jones,” Semir was remembered for making outrageous claims before. For instance, he previously argued that there was a 12,000-year-old system of underground pyramids in Bosnia’s Visoko Valley; this claim had been completely debunked.
This sphere may, in fact, not have been man-made at all. Dr. Mandy Edwards of Manchester University concluded that the sphere was formed by “precipitation of natural mineral cement within the spaces between sediment grains,” a process known as concretion. Either way, there was one thing that everybody agreed on: a more thorough investigation was clearly required.
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Semir still believes that there are pyramids in the hills of Bosnia. He started a serious excavation there in 2005, claiming that he found bricks and mortar. His unearthing process reshaped the hills, making them more resemble pyramids. However, the European Association of Archaeologists issued a statement announcing the pyramids to be a hoax.
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If this sphere really is the product of concretion, that doesn’t make it any less mysterious than if it had been left behind by an ancient civilization. Geologists still don’t fully understand the concretion process, so when they find an example of it, they are thrilled!
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There are other spheres all throughout the world that has become popular tourist attractions. Very frequently concretions are harder than any of the other stones around them, which demonstrates why, over the passing of time, they take on such particular shapes.
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People enjoy visiting the Moeraki Boulders, which can be found all along the beaches of New Zealand. They are a prime example of “cannonball concretions,” just like the Bosnian sphere. Geologists think that they are more than 60 million years old!
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Was this sphere as controversial as the pyramids? Or was it simply a phenomenon of nature? Only time will tell!
Share this interesting discovery with your buddies, and see what they think!