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UNESCO to verify if Bosnian 'pyramids' first in Europe

UNESCO said Friday it would send a group of experts to Bosnia in order to check the claims of local researchers that they have discovered Europe's first pyramids.

"In the next three months we are to send a team which is to evaluate results of researchers in Visoko," UNESCO official Marie-Paul Roudil told AFP on the sidelines of a regional summit on cultural heritage in Croatia.

Digging began in mid-April on one of the three hills believed to be hiding pyramids in Bosnia's Visoko valley, some 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Sarajevo. So far experts have unearthed a number of large stone blocks.

Roudil said the UNESCO team will be comprised of two experts but declined to give further details.

The Bosnian Pyramid Foundation has said that an Egyptian geologist, Aly Abd Alla Barakat, believes the large stone blocks were man-made and polished in the same way as the pyramids of Giza.

Semir Osmanagic, a self-styled Bosnian explorer who initiated the work, says he thinks the blocks are part of a pyramid's surface.

While most Bosnians are hopeful the pyramids will be found, a group of the country's archaeologists and historians have dismissed Osmanagic's mission as a "farce".

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