Today I received an invitation, from Cornelius Holtorf, to attend an open lecture by Semir Osmanagich at the Linnaeus University in Kalmar. The lecture is titled The Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids in Context. Don’t worry, Osmanagich has not become a respected scholar among Swedish archaeologists. Holtorf and others want to discuss this Bosnian “heritage” with him, and how and why it became so successful in the media and for tourists and the locals in the area. The abstract from Linnaeus University states that “Semir Osmanagich is best known for his controversial work about the Bosnian pyramids at Visiko. In this lecture (with discussion) he will contextualize his work in Bosnia both in relation to other pyramids around the world and in relation to tourism and heritage in Bosnia. Although most scholars dispute the existence of any such pyramids in Bosnia, Osmanagich continues to investigate what he believes are the first pyramids in Europe and the largest pyramids in the world in Visoko. After the lecture we will be critically discussing the way in which the Bosnian pyramids received global media coverage and the relations between the media, archaeological research and cultural heritage in Bosnia and beyond.”
I suspect Osmanagich has another intention with his presence and that is to legitimize his ideas to a wider audience and to show his followers that he is a respected scholar. Some of his ideas include the Maya (and 2012 to some extent). I have a “Google translated” version of his dissertation thesis. The “thesis” is of so poor quality that it does not even reach the standard for a BA-thesis. Anyway, on his website you can read the abstract of his dissertation thesis which is called Non-technological Civilization of MAYAS versus Modern TECHNOLOGICAL CIVILIZATIONS. The abstract itself shows that he should not have been given a doctoral degree:
This doctoral dissertation is a novelty in regards to the official and sanctioned knowledge about the Maya culture:
- Maya culture represents a Civilization as opposed to the approach of the Maya as an “Indian Tribe” or “Neolithic Culture”
- The thesis denies the existence of the Maya culture after the 10th century even though wide ranges of the official hypothesis have been established regarding the continuity and decline of the civilizations in Yukatan after the 10th century.
- The indisputable examples of acoustic engineering, mathematics, astronomy and quartz head skull technology establish the thesis about the Maya as a civilization capable of solving complex technological problems.
- Dating the Maya and placing them much deeper into the historical time frame, this work intends to change the historical sequence of the emergence of other cultures in Central-America. Assertions that the Zapotecs (or Olmecs, depending on the author) were the cradle of all other cultures (including the Maya, Toltecs and Mistecas) are no longer valid. The archaeological evidence shows that the Maya are the oldest civilization in this region.
This doctoral dissertation presents a challenge: it opens a new path that has never been modeled before as the scientific evidence speaks for itself.
The only thing that speaks for itself is his abstract. It makes Calleman look like a serious researcher. I will give you an example of how the “scientific evidence speaks for itself” in Osmaganich text. On page 17 in “my Google translated” version of his thesis he writes that “”Maya” is a key Hindu philosophical term meaning “making the world” and “world of illusion.” In Sanskrit Maya is linked to concepts of “big”, “limit”, “um” and “mother”. May the name of Buddha’s mother. In the Vedas the name is Maya key astronomers and architects. In Egyptian philosophy Maya term means “universal world order.” In Greek mythology, Maya is the brightest of the seven star constellation Pleiades. MayaB a name for the House of Maya in Central America: Yukatan peninsula.” What we have here is a completely unscientific mixture of Hindu, Buddhist, Egyptian, Greek and Maya words and concepts that ultimately is used to show that the Maya actually were aliens and that they came from the Pleiades…
I think it is unfortunate that Osmanagich has been invited despite the intention. People like him give archaeology a bad name and the original intention will be lost in cyberspace. Osmanagich and his followers will transform it to something else.
Update: Martin Rundkvist at Aardvarchaeology has more to say.