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Warning to the readers

Report of November 2011 on the situation inside Ravne labyrinth


TAG: pyramids Bosnia, Bosnian pyramids, Visoko Civilization, pyramids, archeology, artifact, Ravne labyrinth, SBRG, SB Research Group

In November 2011 our research team decided to do an inspection in Visoko to evaluate the possibility of begining excavations, to bring the structure discovered last July under the floor in Ravne’s  tunnels by GPR to light.

The situation that occurred was disastrous. The work we did to remove water from the area surrounding the structure completely failed its purpose.

A stream seems to go peacefully throughout the surrounding area and above the structure with a deepth of four inches.


Fig.1 - The appearance of the gallery, above the underground chamber, is disheartening. A four inch deep stream  continues to flow, despite the efforts made by workers of the Foundation for cleaning up (Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)


This situation is partly due to the change of air flow in the tunnel, following the opening of original sections of tunnel. 


Fig. 2 - Some sections of the tunnels continue to be closed because of the danger of collapse (Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)


The change in air flow has caused condensation to run from the walls and vaults like small rivulets of water, this was caused by the high humidity in the tunnels.

All that water contributes to the conglomerate to loosen encouraging small and significant increases of tunnel collapses. In the past years, under direction of  controversial work, such collapses have eliminated the original morphology of the tunnel and extending shape. Unfortunately the change of catenary shape, which was able to release the pressure of the overlying strata, now leads to the formation of points of least resistance, from which come off blocks of conglomerate smashing the boards placed above the props. In sections where the original catenary shape remained, there is not any problem with static.

During an inspection of the archaeological site, we have seen a collapse that has taken part of the electrical system, leaving most of  tunnel in the dark. Thanks to the lamps placed above our helmets, we were able to find the exit, while the workers evacuated the collapsed area from debris to restore the electrical continuity.


Fig. 3 - The collapse that we witnessed which left us in the dark. A block of conglomerate that broke off from the ceiling broke through the boards placed over the props, but other blocks were stopped by guards (Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)


Fig. 4 - The workers of the Foundation later removed precarious blocks and inserted security guards (Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)



Fig. 5 - All of us were very puzzled by this situation. On the left, Dr. S. Acconci, in the center our new collaborator Dr. M. Merlo, right prof. P. Debertolis (Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)


At the end of the site inspection we had a meeting with dr.sci. Semir Osmanagic, the chief of  Bosnian Foundation of the Pyramid of the Sun. In it, dr.sci. Osmanagic clarified the direction for the future of the Foundation under three priorities, as well as reported on the Foundation's website (here), and stating the global financial crisis has reduced sponsorship.


Fig. 6 - At the end of the site inspection we had a frank exchange of views with the scientific director of the Foundation, dr.sci. Semir Osmanagic, who outlined the Foundation’s future intentions(Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)


The priorities, set by dr.sci. Semir Osmanagic, are:

1) The first thing to do is to secure the tunnels to prevent further collapses, other priorities including research will take a back seat. The archaeologist Acconci had reported this problem for some time, but it was not taken into consideration.

2) The Foundations second priority is to bring to light the structure, but according to when they will consider it’s appropriate to do so, not according to our availability.

3) The third priority is to dig in the direction of the Pyramid of the Sun, but without removing the water from the tunnels. It will take several years to reach this goal. It is unclear how long they want to operate in an ambient environment saturated with water vapor, with 20-30 cm of water on the floor without changing the shape of the structure.

This program decided unilaterally by Foundation, needs a rethink in terms of our collaboration between our research group and the Foundation of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun, both in time and scope.

From this moment on, it is very unlikely our research group will continue to collaborate with the Foundation of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun to identify other artifacts that may be present in the tunnels or on the surface.

However, we will continue to collaborate with the Foundation in regard to the research and study of electromagnetic and vibratory phenomena
(ultrasounds) throughout the entire Bosnian pyramid complex.

Paolo Debertolis – Friday, November 11, 2011



Maintenance work continues in Ravne, but when excavations will resume in the tunnels seems most uncertain


TAG: pyramids Bosnia, Bosnian pyramids, Visoko Civilization, pyramids, archeology, artifact, Ravne tunnels

The two workers of the Foundation still on-site, Edo and Salko, continue their work of shoring and reinforcement of props in the tunnels.
But it seems that changes are necessary for future conservation. Under direction from a professional archaeologist these changes would only be a little different from the methods implemented up to now.


Fig. 1 - The maintenance work is carried out only by two workers (Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)

In any case hard times loom for the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation, which takes care of the excavations in Ravne tunnels. The global financial crisis has led to a dramatic reduction in donations from private sponsors which have allowed it to continue digging, even in winter.


Fig. 2 - Tunnel passages that do not have secure access are closed to public (Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)

There is now the possibility that there are no funds to pay the team of workers who, last winter, allowed non interruption of the research inside Ravne tunnels and led to significant successes, such as the discovery of new section unsealed tunnel (here) or the discovery of artifacts (here).


Fig. 3 - Moment to fatigue for Salko who remains one of the best workers (Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)

Probably the excavations will resume only in January with the arrival of a dedicated budget for all of 2012 by the Bosnian Government.

Ravne tunnels will remain open all winter for sightseeing.


Fig. 4 - Outside, the problem of water drainage remains a serious problem in Ravne tunnels (Ajdin Ahmetspahic photos)

Meanwhile, researchers of SBRG will maintain their presence in this archaeological site pursuing other lines of research. Unfortunately we had to suspend excavations, which had just begun, to unearth the underground structure discovered in July of this year, because, without support of the Foundation workers, it’s impossible to construct the access ramp down to the structure.

Paolo Debertolis & Richard Hoyle - October 28, 2011




While we are waiting to resume the excavations, Foundation's workers continue maintenance work in Ravne’s Labyrinth

TAG: pyramids Bosnia, Bosnian pyramids, Visoko Civilization, pyramids, archeology, artifact, Ravne tunnels

Maintenance work continues in tunnels of Ravne by replacement of decayed or insufficient supports. The work is being carried by two workers of  Foundation of the Pyramid of the Sun under direction of leading archaeologist, Sara Acconci.

In November, to resume the excavation work, we will wait for the return of a greater number of workers of the Foundation and volunteers who have decided at their own expense to continue the work.
What is becoming more clear to our research group is that the builders of the tunnels had the same problems of partial collapses like present time.

For this reason they remedied it with long sections of dry stone walls on the side of the tunnels where it was necessary to expand the size.


Fig. 1 - Where there is a dry stone wall there isn’t any collapse. In upper images the section recently opened and that closes the third alveolus path in the tunnel Ravne (images by Ajdin Ahmetspahic)

As it can be observed from the images, where workers have shored up tunnels many times, tunnels sometimes modified by the workers for various reasons, sometimes if there is a failure of a support beam you can have a collapse of  the vault with material falling. Where there is a dry stone wall on the side of the tunnel, there isn’t any collapse of the structure even though it is not shored up.


Fig. 2 - Where the path of the tunnel was enlarged by the workers of the Foundation for various reasons, eliminating the catenary profile, despite the props, the material tends to fall from the side of the walls impeding the passage (image by Ajdin Ahmetspahic)


Fig. 3 - In the enlarged and propped tunnels, if props are rotten or not sufficient in number you can observe a collapse. At the present moment the workers are strengthening all areas that are at risk and replacing damaged props (images by Ajdin Ahmetspahic)

This method of using dry stone walls on the sides of tunnels has often been used in prehistoric and early historic periods and it indicates the high level of awareness and knowledge that the builders of Ravne’s Labyrinth had.

Paolo Debertolis - October 14, 2011




Two more items of news from Ravne Labyrinth

TAG: pyramids Bosnia, Bosnian pyramids, Visoko's Civilization, pyramids, archeology, artifact, tomb, Ravne tunnels

The first. Work was concluded on the reunion of two lateral tunnels which led to a new circle in the typical alveolar structure of Ravne’s Labyrinth.

This arrangement is very similar to alveoli of a lung, which is becoming an increasingly more prevalent characteristic of this archaeological site.


Fig. 1 - The overlay of the pulmonary alveoli compared with the structure of the tunnel (image by L. Krasovec Lucas from her presentation at ICBP2011 conference)


Fig. 2 - The point of entry and exit of the new tunnel passage marked by yellow arrows


Fig. 3 - Some pictures of the new communication tunnel in the filming of our photographer Ajdin Ahmetspahic

The second news is about the niche carved out for building the access ramp to the structure in order to bring to light the structure located under the floor of the tunnel Ravne.
During the deepening of the niche in the wall of the tunnel was discovered a circular room with five very low lateral tunnels arranged very regularly.

Faced with this unexpected new discovery, the possibility of access to the structure changed again and a new approach is required, in order to not destroy this room.


Fig. 4 - The position of the tunnel carved in the wall and the round room newly discovered marked by orange arrow and circle


Fig. 5 - Images of the round room, stone walls and five low side tunnel/niches (foto Ajdiin Ahmetspahic)


Paolo Debertolis - Saturday, September 16, 2011




Momentary pause in the work of excavation in the structure located under the floor in Ravne's Labyrinth

TAG: pyramids Bosnia, Bosnian pyramids, Visoko's Civilization, pyramids, archeology, artifact, tomb

After clearing of the area from the infiltration of water, it’s necessary to await a moment before proceeding with the excavation to recover the structure.

We must ensure that there is no further infiltration of water before the re-start.

The Foundation has created a niche in the wall of the tunnel in front of the centre of the future excavation site to create the access ramp, yet unbuilt.

The excavation has been recomposed and burial of the new drainage pipe in the ground so as to facilitate movement along the passage. The structure will be excavated from the side by the ramp starting from the newly built niche.

Thanks to images by the photographer of SB Research Group, Ajdin Ahmetspahic, now we can document the current situation.


Fig. 1 - Scheme (image by professor Lucia Krasovec Lucas - Politecnico di Milano). The stretch of the tunnel is where the structure is located. The numbers refer to the direction of the figures below (click to enlarge)


Fig.1 a and b. Images of the entrance of the tunnel where is the structure located under the floor of the gallery


Fig.2 Image directed to the structure upstream the retaining wall against water infiltration


Fig. 3 - Image taken from the niche built in front of the zone of digging. The structure is located below the wheelbarrow


Fig. 4 - Image of the niche built in front of the structure to hold the ramp to access to the structure (yet to be constructed)


Fig. 5 - Image of the area where is the underground structure.


Fig. 6 - Image taken from the opposite side upstream the retaining walls against water infiltration


Paolo Debertolis - September 5, 2011




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